Navigating international river disputes to avert conflict

Neda A. Zawahri, Andrea K. Gerlak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Building on the findings from the International Negotiation's 2000 issue on negotiations in international watercourses and the major advances in the field during the past nine years, this issue seeks to advance our knowledge about the management of international river disputes. Collectively, the articles in this issue move beyond the simple dichotomy of conflict and cooperation to suggest the possibility that both are often simultaneously present within a basin and should be studied as such. Using a diversity of methodological approaches from comparative case studies to single case studies to quantitative analysis, the articles also illustrate the growth of institutionalization within river basins and their contribution to conflict management. Moreover, the articles advance our knowledge of the role of the relative distribution of power within the basin on the resolution of water disputes and management of resources. Some scholars find power asymmetry important for treaty formation, while others suggest that issue linkages and side payments can provide weaker riparians with the means to gain from cooperation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)211-227
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Negotiation
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 1 2009


  • Conflict
  • Cooperation
  • International rivers
  • Negotiating water disputes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Political Science and International Relations


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