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Water: Asia's New Battleground
     

Water: Asia's New Battleground

5.0 3
by Brahma Chellaney
 

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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

Overview

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.

Editorial Reviews

Pacific Affairs
A well-written book which uses relatively clear and sophisticated language while still remaining accessible to readers without prior knowledge of the subject.

The Washington Monthly
A formidable interdisciplinary book. [Chellaney] has done readers a great service in tracking down reams of scholarly information, beautifully knit together, covering a dazzling range of countries and disciples, from Bangladesh to Mongolia, climate change science to regional security doctrine. Despite the vast scope of the book, the writing is clear and lively. Its main contribution is in synthesizing the many trickles of the international discussion on Asia and water into one single current.

Choice
The author provides a comprehensive analysis of the roots of the Asian water crisis, combing hydrology, global politics, and cultural history. Fortunately, Chellaney offers potential policy solutions.

Environmental Education
This book is a gem.

Asian Review of Books
This well-researched volume is a fascinating blend of geography, hydrology and politics. . . . A sobering read for those of us residing in Asia, and the weight of its message certainly deserves urgent and widespread attention.

Foreign Affairs
Ranging widely across the region, this forcefully written study warns of a growing risk of interstate conflicts over water. The only way to avoid such outcomes, Chellaney argues, is to adopt a cooperative, rules-based approach to water management.

Contemporary Southeast Asia
A valuable contribution to a subject that still receives too little attention when power politics are discussed.

Commonweal Magazine
Water will undoubtedly cause most readers to look at the world differently. . . . tells an immensely important story and Chellaney has myriad facts at his fingertips.”

Global Asia
Masterful, pioneering study . . . superbly combines a panoramic picture of Asia as a 'global water crisis hub' with detailed case studies of potential water wars.

Financial Times
Chellaney's new book is an exhaustive study of a narrow, but vital, aspect of the Asian security landscape: the growing struggle for water resources.

Washington Monthly
Chellaney has crafted a formidable interdisciplinary book. He has done readers a great service in tracking down reams of scholarly information, beautifully knit together, covering a dazzling range of countries and disciples, from Bangladesh to Mongolia, climate change science to regional security doctrine. Despite the vast scope of the book, the writing is clear and lively.
From the Publisher

"A formidable interdisciplinary book. [Chellaney] has done readers a great service in tracking down reams of scholarly information, beautifully knit together, covering a dazzling range of countries and disciples, from Bangladesh to Mongolia, climate change science to regional security doctrine. Despite the vast scope of the book, the writing is clear and lively. Its main contribution is in synthesizing the many trickles of the international discussion on Asia and water into one single current." -- The Washington Monthly

"A well-written book which uses relatively clear and sophisticated language while still remaining accessible to readers without prior knowledge of the subject." -- Pacific Affairs

"This well-researched volume is a fascinating blend of geography, hydrology and politics.... A sobering read for those of us residing in Asia, and the weight of its message certainly deserves urgent and widespread attention." -- Asian Review of Books

"Masterful, pioneering study... superbly combines a panoramic picture of Asia as a 'global water crisis hub' with detailed case studies of potential water wars." -- Global Asia

"Chellaney's new book is an exhaustive study of a narrow, but vital, aspect of the Asian security landscape: the growing struggle for water resources." -- Financial Times

"Ranging widely across the region, this forcefully written study warns of a growing risk of interstate conflicts over water. The only way to avoid such outcomes, Chellaney argues, is to adopt a cooperative, rules-based approach to water management." -- Foreign Affairs

"The author provides a comprehensive analysis of the roots of the Asian water crisis, combing hydrology, global politics, and cultural history. Fortunately, Chellaney offers potential policy solutions." -- Choice

"A valuable contribution to a subject that still receives too little attention when power politics are discussed." -- Contemporary Southeast Asia

" Water will undoubtedly cause most readers to look at the world differently.... [It] tells an immensely important story and Chellaney has myriad facts at his fingertips."" -- Commonweal Magazine

"This book is a gem." -- Environmental Education

Washington Post
Brahma Chellaney's indispensable study.

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

Related Subjects

What People are Saying About This

King's College London - Friedbert Pfluger
The dominant conflict in geopolitics in this century is the scramble for energy, raw materials, and water. Brahma Chellaney is the first to publish an in-depth analysis of potential challenges and conflicts resulting from the scarcity of water in Asia. His book is particularly important to understand the impact and indeed the risks.
Stanley A. Weiss
We’re all familiar with conflicts over territory in places like Tibet and Kashmir, but Brahma Chellaney persuasively argues that the most precious resource in these disputes is not land, but water. In a world where nearly one billion people lack access to clean water, Chellaney shows how today’s economic growth could lead to tomorrow’s 'water wars.' With his policy prescriptions, he also gives us a way to stop these conflicts before they begin. This is a vital book for anybody interested in diplomacy and conflict in the twenty-first century.

Friedbert Pflüger
The dominant conflict in geopolitics in this century is the scramble for energy, raw materials, and water. Brahma Chellaney is the first to publish an in-depth analysis of potential challenges and conflicts resulting from the scarcity of water in Asia. His book is particularly important to understand the impact and indeed risks in an era of a growing tendency, which one meanwhile can call resource imperialism.

From the Publisher

"We're all familiar with conflicts over territory in places like Tibet and Kashmir, but Brahma Chellaney persuasively argues that the most precious resource in these disputes is not land, but water. In a world where nearly one billion people lack access to clean water, Chellaney shows how today's economic growth could lead to tomorrow's 'water wars.' With his policy prescriptions, he also gives us a way to stop these conflicts before they begin. This is a vital book for anybody interested in diplomacy and conflict in the twenty-first century." -- Stanley A. Weiss, founding chairman, Business Executives for National Security

"A pioneering, comprehensive, and insightful analysis that provides also the strategies for a solution. This is a timely and enlightening book since, as Chellaney demonstrates, 'what Asia confronts today, the other continents are likely to face tomorrow.'" -- Yoon Young-kwan, professor of international relations at Seoul National University and former foreign minister of Korea

"This is a well-written, thoroughly researched, and carefully analyzed book on a crucial subject matter. It is impressive for the richness and depth of the chapters, the interdisciplinary nature of the project, and the marrying of materials from geopolitics, environmental studies, and geology. It contains a wealth of information on the complex dynamics involving water in the current and emerging Asian political and economic landscape. The book shows Chellaney's thorough knowledge of the region, its intricacies, and its long history of connectivity in terms of water sharing." -- T.V. Paul, James McGill Professor of International Relations, McGill University

"The dominant conflict in geopolitics in this century is the scramble for energy, raw materials, and water. Brahma Chellaney is the first to publish an in-depth analysis of potential challenges and conflicts resulting from the scarcity of water in Asia. His book is particularly important to understand the impact and indeed risks in an era of a growing tendency, which one meanwhile can call resource imperialism." -- Friedbert Pflüger, director, European Centre for Energy and Resource Security, King's College London

T.V. Paul
This is a well-written, thoroughly researched, and carefully analyzed book on a crucial subject matter. It is impressive for the richness and depth of the chapters, the interdisciplinary nature of the project, and the marrying of materials from geopolitics, environmental studies, and geology. It contains a wealth of information on the complex dynamics involving water in the current and emerging Asian political and economic landscape. The book shows Chellaney’s thorough knowledge of the region, its intricacies, and its long history of connectivity in terms of water sharing.

Yoon Young-kwan
A pioneering, comprehensive, and insightful analysis that provides also the strategies for a solution. This is a timely and enlightening book since, as Chellaney demonstrates, 'what Asia confronts today, the other continents are likely to face tomorrow.'

Meet 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