Fresh Water and Maritime Issues in World Politics View Homepage


Ontology type: schema:MonetaryGrant     


Grant Info

YEARS

2001-2001

FUNDING AMOUNT

86838 USD

ABSTRACT

This project is intended to improve our understanding of how nation-states manage their contentious issues, focusing on disagreements between nation-states over shared freshwater supplies and over maritime zones, to supplement recent research on territorial claims. A general issue-based approach to world politics has developed slowly since the mid-1970s. This approach depicts world politics as the quest for issue satisfaction by actors that use numerous potential means (including the unilateral initiation of militarized conflict, bilateral negotiations, and multilateral attempts involving binding or non-binding, third-party assistance). Empirically testable hypotheses are developed from this issue-based approach to account for the occurrence and success of attempts to manage or settle issues. Emphasis is placed on the salience of the issues, past attempts to manage the same issues, the regional and global institutional context, and characteristics of the adversaries. Past research on contentious issues has been impeded by a lack of systematic data for empirical testing of propositions about the nature and management of contentious issues. Recent data collection by the Issue Correlates of WAR (ICOW) project overcomes these problems by collecting data on the extent, salience, and management of territorial issues, and, thus, offers substantial support for the hypotheses of the issues' approach. The primary objective of this proposed research is to study freshwater and maritime issues in the same manner as this recent research on territorial issues. Data are collected on all freshwater and maritime issues in the twentieth century, including the extent of the issues (the number of issues worldwide and the specific actors involved for each one), their salience (characteristics of each issue that make it more or less valuable to the involved states), and attempts to manage these issues unilaterally, bilaterally, or multilaterally. This collection allows the hypotheses from the general issues' approach to be tested using these two additional issue types as a supplement to our current knowledge of territorial issues, and -- in combination with the existing data on territorial issues -- for the first time, allows comparative study of the management of different issue types. The results of the proposed analyses have important implications for both theory and policy, ranging from improved academic understanding of processes of foreign policy making, negotiations, international law, and interstate conflict to the possibility of assisting governments in the identification of peaceful solutions to their problems. This is especially important because the issues covered by this proposal, the management of often-scarce freshwater resources and of potentially oil- or fish-abundant maritime zones, are argued to be among the leading sources of conflict into the next century. The collection of freshwater and maritime issue data also helps to advance an issues' approach to world politics. This advance has been slowed considerably by the dearth of systematic data on issues; the few systematic data collections that exist focus primarily on the single issue of territory. Finally, the data sets collected under this proposal will be released publicly for use by other scholars in the field. Although the creation of a new data resource is a secondary objective behind the improved testing of propositions on issues and world politics, this is an important benefit that helps the field of Political Science long after our original analyses with this newly collected data are completed. More... »

URL

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