Water: Asia's New Battleground

Water: Asia's New Battleground

by Brahma Chellaney
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Water: Asia's New Battleground by Brahma Chellaney

Winner of the Asia Society's Bernard Schwartz 2012 Book Award

The battles of yesterday were fought over land. Those of today are over energy. But the battles of tomorrow may be over water. Nowhere is that danger greater than in water-distressed Asia.

Water stress is set to become Asia’s defining crisis of the twenty-first century, creating obstacles to continued rapid economic growth, stoking interstate tensions over shared resources, exacerbating long-time territorial disputes, and imposing further hardships on the poor. Asia is home to many of the world's great rivers and lakes, but its huge population and exploding economic and agricultural demand for water make it the most water-scarce continent on a per capita basis. Many of Asia’s water sources cross national boundaries, and as less and less water is available, international tensions will rise. The potential for conflict is further underscored by China’s unrivaled global status as the source of transboundary river flows to the largest number of countries, ranging from India and Vietnam to Russia and Kazakhstan; yet a fast-rising China has declined to enter into water-sharing or cooperative treaties with these states, even as it taps the resources of international rivers.

Water: Asia’s New Battleground is a pioneering study of Asia’s murky water politics and the relationships between fresh water, peace, and security. In this unique and highly readable book, Brahma Chellaney expertly paints a larger picture of water across Asia, highlights the security implications of resource-linked territorial disputes, and proposes real strategies to avoid conflict and more equitably share Asia’s water resources.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781589017719
Publisher: Georgetown University Press
Publication date: 08/01/2011
Pages: 400
Product dimensions: 6.40(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.20(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Brahma Chellaney, one of India's leading strategic thinkers and analysts, is a professor at the Centre for Policy Research in New Delhi. He has served as a member of the Policy Advisory Group headed by the foreign minister of India, and as an adviser to India’s National Security Council. He has held appointments at Harvard University, the Brookings Institution, Johns Hopkins University, and the Australian National University. He is the author of five previous books, including Asian Juggernaut: The Rise of China, India, and Japan.

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Water: Asia's New Battleground 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
HRay More than 1 year ago
Brahma Chellaney's new book offers an indepth analysis of the water geopolitics in Greater Asia, extending from Japan all the way to Turkey and including the entire Middle East. This is the first book that comprehensively examines the water geopolitics on the world's driest continent, Asia. The water crisis holds important implications for Asia's ability to continue to be the locomotive of the world economy. Thus, the book is an important contribution to the literature and is likely to be of particular interest to investors, especially because it details the economic and political implications of the spreading water shortages. The strength of the book is that its various chapters are thematically focused, rather than discussing countries or subregions. Although such a framework is more challenging, it allows the author to keep the focus on the larger issues in Asia and to comparatively assess opportunities of cooperation and risks of conflict. What emerges is that water disputes are concentrated in four separate circles-China and its neighbors; India and its neighbors; Israel and its neighbors; and Turkey and its neighbors-plus in Central Asia and the Arabian Peninsula. Intrastate disputes are more widespread, with the book providing a good picture of such disputes within South Korea and China in particular. The book is sympathetic to the plight of countries, like Bangladesh, Vietnam and Iraq, which are located farthest downstream on rivers flowing through multiple countries. The book masterfully blends water issues and geopolitics to highlight water resource scarcity as a burning issue. The analysis is objective and perceptive. The book's only drawback is its length: it is virtually the size of two average-size books and, therefore, has been printed in small typescript.
Kanazawa More than 1 year ago
Excellent and lucid book This multidisciplinary book provides an in-depth strategic assessment of Asia's water crisis and how it can be addressed. It points to the political and economic risks if the crisis is left unmitigated.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago