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Title: Hydropolitical peacebuilding : Israeli-Palestinian water relations and the transformation of asymmetric conflict in the Middle East
Author: Abitbol, Eric
Awarding Body: University of Bradford
Current Institution: University of Bradford
Date of Award: 2012
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Recognising water as a central relational location of the asymmetric Israel- Palestinian conflict, this study critically analyses the peacebuilding significance of Israeli, transboundary water and peace practitioner discourses. Anchored in a theoretically-constructed framework of hydropolitical peacebuilding, it discursively analyses the historical, officially-sanctioned, as well as academic and civil society water and peace relations of Israelis and Palestinians. It responds to the question: How are Israeli water and peace practitioners discursively practicing hydropolitical peacebuilding in the Middle East? In doing so, this study has drawn upon a methodology of interpretive practice, combining ethnography, foucauldian discourse analysis and narrative inquiry. This study discursively traces Israel's development into a hydrohegemonic state in the Jordan River Basin, from the late-19th century to 2011. Recognising conflict as a power-laden social system, it makes visible the construction, production and circulation of Israel's power in the basin. It examines key narrative elements invoked by Israel to justify its evolving asymmetric, hydrohegemonic relations. Leveraging the hydropolitical peacebuilding framework, itself constituted of equality, partnership, equity and shared ii sustainability, this study also examines the discursive practices of Israeli transboundary water and peace practitioners in relationship with Palestinians. In so doing, it makes visible their hydrohegemony, hydropolitical peacebuilding, and hydrohegemonic residues. This study's conclusions re-affirm earlier findings, notably that environmental and hydropolitical cooperation neither inherently nor necessarily constitute peacebuilding practice. This work also suggests that hydropolitical peacebuilding may discursively be recognised in water and peace practices that engage, critique, resist, desist from, and practice alternative relational formations to hydrohegemony in asymmetric conflicts.
Supervisor: Whitman, Jim R.; Abi-Ezzi, Karen; Pugh, Michael C.; Cleaver, Frances D.; Kelly, Rhys H. S. Sponsor: British Council/Foreign and Commonwealth Office ; Fonds québecois de recherche sur la société et la culture (FQRSC)
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Transboundary water ; Hydropolitics ; Hydrohegemony ; Israeli-Palestinian conflict ; Zionism ; Interpretive practice ; Discourse analysis ; Community of practice ; Peacebuilding ; Conflict transformation