Water Scarcity and Political Instability in the Middle East - a multiscale study of Syria and its surrounding environment

Karoline Blaabjerg, Lauren Lindsey D'Costa, Peter Grønbech & Gultiano Hansen Hansen

Studenteropgave: Semesterprojekt


This thesis investigates the effect of water scarcity in the Middle East on political stability at the local, regional and global scale. Guided by a comprehensive Conceptual Framework encompassing theories and concepts of scales, national- human- and environmental security, the thesis is structured as a multiscale case study of Syria. The analyses each present a narrative about water scarcity and political stability specific to their scale. As such, it is established how water scarcity in the Middle East and poor governance on behalf of the Syrian government lead to insecurity, migration and conflict within Syria. Furthermore, it is established how the lack of transnational cooperation on water issues is further exacerbating Syrian water scarcity, as well as how spillover from the Syrian crisis is creating insecurity in other places. It is argued that an environment of human security is difficult to obtain when national security is prioritized over human security. However the international community is largely relying on the former when responding to perceived threats. Conclusively, water scarcity can have a destabilizing impact by creating displacement, insecurity and conflict across multiple scales.

UddannelserGeografi, (Bachelor/kandidatuddannelse) Bachelor el. kandidat
Udgivelsesdato18 dec. 2015


  • Middle East
  • Water Scarcity