Journal Articles

Marwa Daoudy. 2020. Water Weaponization in the Syrian Conflict: Strategies of Domination and CooperationInternational Affairs, 96(5).

This article addresses the strategic use of key water resources as a source of power.  The novelty of the paper is my focus on sub-state interactions and the role played by non-state actors. I fill a gap in the literature by showing how both state and non-state political actors weaponize and frame their control over water as a symbol of identity and domination.  I examine weaponization prior to and during the course of the Syrian civil conflict since 2011, showing how control of large water infrastructure was used to project authority and legitimacy and capture constituents by both the Syrian state and non-state actors. In the 1960s and 1970s, the Ba’ath Party leadership mobilized water and land policies to affirm the new regime’s identity and domination, particularly vis-à-vis the Syrian Kurdish population. During the Syrian civil war, water resources were leveraged by the state to win the war against rebel populations. Post-2011 conditions resulted in the rise of a variety of non-state actors allying or competing with each other and the Syrian state, including the Kurdish-affiliated Democratic Union Party (PYD) and the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). An analysis of ISIS’ state-building ambitions also gives a complex picture of its management of water resources and highlights its cooperation with Syria’s central government over the supply of water and electricity.

Marwa Daoudy. 2016. The Structure-Identity Nexus: Syria and Turkey’s Collapse (2011). Cambridge Review of International Affairs, 29(3): 1074-1096.

I draw on extensive primary sources and secondary sources, as well as interviews with key figures in Turkey and outside the region, to show how the relation between Syria and Turkey transformed from enmity in the 1990s to détente in the early 2000s, grew into amity after the rise to power of the Turkish Justice and Development Party (AKP, Adalet ve Kalkinma Partisi) in 2002, and reverted to enmity in the aftermath of the Arab Spring. This unpredictable turn of events in 2011 raised, in my view, an interesting theoretical and empirical puzzle: Why did the relationship between the two neighbors and their intensive political and economic ties suddenly collapse? What conceptual tools provide the most explanatory power in such cases of rapid and unpredictable shifts from cooperation to conflict? The debate on the evolution of Syria and Turkey’s relationship tackles challenging issues relating to major debates in international relations (IR) theory on the determinants of foreign policy, notably the relative weights of the systemic, regional or domestic levels of analysis. My research outlines the merits of a hybrid theoretical perspective by elaborating on Barkin’s (2010) idea of “realist constructivism”, which draws on two rival traditions: realism and constructivism. 

I argue that a combination of structural and identity-based factors, at regional and domestic levels, induced the collapse of the amity forged between Syria and Turkey since 2002 and, more broadly, foreign policy outcomes. The interplay between context, identity and policy factors captures interactions at multiple levels of analysis, specifically relating to the weight of ideational and material factors in determining foreign policy choices.

Marwa Daoudy. 2009. Asymmetric Power: Negotiating Water in the Euphrates and Tigris. International Negotiation, 14: 361-391. 

This article laid out the foundations of the hydro-hegemony theory and tested its applicability to the Middle East. I analyzed water-sharing from the perspective of negotiation theory as well as critical security studies (more specifically the Copenhagen School) to outline the securitization of water through discourses and the resort to exceptional measures, by linking water-sharing to concerns over national and border security in relation to the Kurdish insurgency in Turkey.

Marwa Daoudy. 2008. A Missed Chance for Peace: Syria and Israel’s Negotiations over the Golan Heights. Journal of International Affairs, 61, 2: 215-234. 

I combined negotiation theory with hydro-politics to evaluate the role played by water and territorial security in preventing the successful resolution of the Israel-Syria conflict. For the first time, an article published in English provided primary sources on the Syrian side of the peace negotiations.

Marwa Daoudy. 2008. Hydro-Hegemony and International Water Law: Laying Claims to Water Rights. Water Policy, 10, 2: 89-102.

I tapped the International Law Commission archives at the United Nations and researched extensively the primary sources previously collected during my field work. I contributed to the analysis of international water law (IWL) and power by analyzing legal discourses and the positions held by Middle Eastern actors during state negotiations and the codification process of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Non-Navigational Uses of International Watercourses at the United Nations International Law Commission (ILC), confirming the role of IWL as a source of power for weaker actors. 

Marwa Daoudy. 2007. Benefit Sharing as a Tool for Conflict Transformation: Applying the Inter-SEDE Model to the Euphrates and Tigris. The Economics of Peace and Security Journal, 2, 2: 26-32. 

I quantified interactions between Iraq, Syria and Turkey by applying the framework I previously developed in collaboration with renown academics and analysts in the field of hydro-politics from South Africa,  Sweden, the UK and the US, including Prof. Stephen McCaffrey, a leading authority on International Water Law and the International Law Commission’s special rapporteur during many years.

Book Chapters

Marwa Daoudy. 2019. The 2011 Collapse of Syria-Turkey Relations: through a Realist Constructivist Lens. In Hinnebusch and Saouli (eds.), The War for Syria: Regional and International Dimensions of the Syrian Uprising, 1st Edition – Routledge. Pp. 189-208.

Marwa Daoudy. 2013. Beyond Conflict? The Securitization of Water in Syrian-Turkish Relations. Turkey-Syria Relations: Between Enmity and Amity, edited by Hinnebusch and Tur. London: Ashgate Publishers. Pp. 133-144.

Marwa Daoudy. 2010. Getting Beyond the Environment-Conflict Trap: Benefit-Sharing in International River Basins in Earle. Transboundary Water Management, edited by Jägerskog and Öjendal. Swedish International Water Institute (SIWI). Pp. 43-58.

Marwa Daoudy. 2010. The Geopolitics of Water in the Middle East: Turkey as a Regional Power. The Currents of Power: Water and the New World Order, edited by Tvedt, Hagen and Chapman. Center for Advanced Study, National Academy of Science and Letters, Norway & IB Tauris. Pp. 395-418.

Marwa Daoudy. 2009. State-BuildingLexicon on Post-Conflict and Peace-Building, edited by Vincent Chetail, Oxford University Press. Pp. 350-359. 

Marwa Daoudy. 2007. Les politiques de l’eau en Syrie: obstacles et réalisations. La Syrie au présent: Reflets d’une Société, edited by Dupret, Ghazzal, Courbage and Al-Dbiyat. Actes Sud. Pp. 607-616.

Marwa Daoudy. 2004. Syria and Turkey in Water Diplomacy (1962-2003). Water in the Middle East and North Africa: Resources, Protection and Management, edited by Zereini and Jaeschke. Heidelberg: Springer. Pp. 319-332.