Roughly 80 people were drawn to the Hydro-diplomacy workshop at The Hague Humanity Hub on 5 and 6 October, 2018. They included current and former diplomats of all types, water resource managers, graduate students, academics and donors. Organised by Disasters Studies group of Wageningen University, the conference highlighted the work of the London Water Research Group, Kings Water and the UEA WSRCentre, notably the ‘hydro-hegemony’ work of Profs Mark Zeitoun and Jeroen Warner and transformative analysis of Dr Naho Mirumachi, Ana Cascao and many others. Former Water Security MSc student Matt Kirkegaard's thoughts on re-situating the analytical approach in Marxist theory was seen as one particularly effective way to move from thinking to action - towards more equitable and sustainable arrangements.
Through a number of case studies and theoretical approaches, the group found ‘power’ relevant to diplomacy in a number of ways. Studying ‘power’ can highlight skews in data, for instance, or the biases that mediators and diplomats may otherwise be blind to. Examining ‘power’ also crucially emphasises the alternatives to conflict that are budding in the narratives and ideas of the non-hegemonic parties.
Watch this space for HH10 at the HHH in 2019!
UEA Water Security Research Centre
School of International Development
University of East Anglia,
Norwich NR4 7TJ, UK