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Oil and water: the contrasting anatomies of resource conflicts
journal contributionposted on 2023-06-07, 17:36 authored by Jan Selby
It is often said that while many of the twentieth century's wars were fought over oil, those of the twenty-first will be fought over water. This paper seeks to counter this argument, as well as the assumption implicit in it that the two resources engender, or will engender, broadly similar types of conflict. Specifically it argues 1) that within the context of the contemporary global capitalism, oil and water are marked by starkly divergent political economies; 2) that the two resources thus have starkly contrasting impacts upon patterns of state formation; 3) that these factors together militate against the development of violent international water conflicts; and 4) that notwithstanding the above, water is already a significant cause of local violence in many parts of the global South.
JournalGovernment and Opposition
Department affiliated with
- International Relations Publications
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