The Water Wars : A Summer Game or Serious Business? A Qualitative Content Analysis of the Narratives Behind the Debate
Abstract: In the decade of the 1990’s, people started to foresee a dark future wherein wars over the precious resource water would be a reality. This was to be called the water wars thesis and implied that countries would go to war to safeguard their own access to water. This sparked a debate over the legitimacy of the thesis. Although, even in 2018 the debate lives on and the water wars thesis still prevails as a quite influential thesis in media and on policymakers table. Therefore, an intriguing question arises as to why and how the thesis survives even when met with empirical data pointing to the other direction, cooperation. This research paper is examining this intriguing question by adopting a qualitative content analysis approach together with an analytical framework called narrative policy analysis. This framework seeks to explain complex policy issues such as the water wars thesis by examining the policy narratives behind them. Therefore, this will be used to examine documents and publication with the aim to observe policy narratives within the debate that may assist in explaining the prevalence of the water wars thesis. Thus, this research paper indicates that the prevalence of the water wars thesis may have roots in how the different positions portray the issue of water wars. Hence, this study has also indicated a divergence in what system beliefs the positions take.
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