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The Evolution of Water Factor of International Security at the Modern Stage from the Example of the Brahmaputra and Mekong River Basins

Student: Ksenia Skobinova

Supervisor: Anastasia Likhacheva

Faculty: Faculty of World Economy and International Affairs

Educational Programme: International Relations (Bachelor)

Year of Graduation: 2020

New challenges of the 21st century, consisting in increasing population growth, climate change and environmental degradation, increasing economic activity, bring the problem of fresh water scarcity beyond the local borders of one state to a global problem. Today, water resources are perceived not as a separate development factor, but as a complex element that includes political, economic and social spheres, as well as national and international security. In addition, in the context of competition for fresh water resources, interstate contradictions in the field of rational use of resources of international rivers are activated. The problem of physical scarcity of freshwater resources is especially significant for the countries of South and Southeast Asia. Transboundary rivers in these regions are not only key sources of fresh water, but also catalysts for contradictions between countries that are forced to share the same transboundary basin, due to the fact that countries with a more favorable geographical position pursue a policy of hydro-egoism, putting pressure not only on social -economic development of downstream countries, but also on international security in general. Despite the wide attention from domestic and international researchers to the problem of water supply, an insufficient number of works is devoted to an analysis of the changing role of the water factor in the system of international relations and its establishment as one of the components of international security in the Asian region. This determines the main goal of this study - to determine the evolution of the water factor of international security and its causes on the example of the basins of the transboundary rivers Mekong and Brahmaputra (2000-2019).

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