The challenges of the increasing institutionalization of climate security. w/ J. Hardt et al. Plos Climate, 2024.

A rapid and widespread institutionalization of climate security is underway, led by powerful states and international organizations. Recognition of the climate crisis by security actors as a serious threat to humanity is long overdue, but it is imperative that this institutionalization is critically scrutinized. This commentary highlights specific dangers that accompany the institutional mainstreaming of climate security, including a non-reflexive integration into traditional security paradigms, a growing geopolitical separation between discourses emerging from the Global South and North, and policymaking that tends to draw from a narrow view of the science. Science-based and actionable research informed by pluralistic understandings of climate security is needed to counter this trend.

Water, health, and peace: a call for interdisciplinary research. w/ A. Abbara et al. The Lancet, 2024.

2024 World Water Day, which has the theme of Water for Peace, 1 stresses the importance of sustainable and equitable water access and management for a broad set of social benefits. However, millions of people in dozens of countries globally experience the reverberating effects of armed conflict on water and public health services, which lead to cumulative and long-term effects on health, particularly for the most susceptible. 2 Under these conditions, water leads not to peace and prosperity, but to disease and hardship. Concerningly, our experience shows that the most affected people are marginalised women and children, resulting in pronounced gender and social tensions. We call for improved understanding of these effects to support ongoing efforts to reduce civilian harm through interdisciplinary research addressing different challenges in water access caused by conflict.

Ten New Insights in Climate Science. w/ M. Martin et al. Global Sustainability, 2022.

We summarize what we assess as the past year’s most important findings within climate change research: limits to adaptation, vulnerability hotspots, new threats coming from the climate–health nexus, climate (im)mobility and security, sustainable practices for land use and finance, losses and damages, inclusive societal climate decisions and ways to overcome structural barriers to accelerate mitigation and limit global warming to below 2°C.

Power Plus: Tony Allan’s Contributions to Understanding Transboundary Water Arrangements w/ Zeitoun, Cascâo, Greco, Mirumashi and Warner. Water International, 2022.

We trace the development of a theory and analytical frames within international political economy that originated from Tony Allan’s mainstreaming of power as a determining factor in the control of transboundary flows. These include the Framework of Hydro-Hegemony, coexisting conflict and cooperation and Transboundary Water Interaction Analysis, counter-hegemony and virtual water rivers. These contributions are exemplified briefly through cases from around the globe and in particular the Nile. To ensure that this aspect of Tony’s legacy lives on, we propose a research agenda that includes the analysis of power interactions at substate levels between central governments and non-state actors.

Marwa Daoudy. 2022. Migration as a path to a more sustainable world. One Earth, Voices, Vol. 5, Issue 8 on Migration and the 2030 Agenda.

Myths and disinformation about migration crises are widespread. The 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) represent a unique framework to correct such biases. Although the bulk of human mobility is internal or across neighboring borders, both political rhetoric and policymaking in Europe and the United States successfully securitize migration as a global and regional threat to their integrity and well-being. Rather than examining larger systems of climate change and global structural food inequality and distribution, these discourses foster negative othering and xenophobia, often with a focus on racial discrimination. By seeking to globally achieve no poverty (SDG 1), zero hunger (SDG 2), clean water and sanitation (SDG 6), economic growth (SDG 8), and action on climate change (SDG 13) that broadly exacerbates human insecurity, the SDGs implicitly address the challenges experienced by one of the most vulnerable communities around the world: migrants. However, they should explicitly state the urgency in meeting the needs of the displaced victims of climate change or armed conflicts. Another way to minimize negative perceptions is to acknowledge their adaptive capacity and the many opportunities that migrants offer to hosting countries. By fostering employment and income in industry and innovation (SDG 9), more resilient, sustainable cities (SDG 11), and stronger and more inclusive institutions (SDG 16), migrants are active partners in the fulfilment of the SDGs. Migration poses challenges, but it also offers a path toward a more peaceful, prosperous, and sustainable world.

Langlois, Jérémie and Daoudy, Marwa. 2022. Words, Water, and Waste: How Government Discourse Shapes Environmental Protest in Lebanon and Jordan. Project of Middle East Politics (POMEPS) Studies 46: Environmental Politics in the MENA

When do preexisting environmental demands enter the discourse of wider episodes of mass mobilization? This memo revisits theory developed in the study of social movements in Latin America to assess one key variable that could answer to this question in the Middle East and North Africa. We argue that government discourse around water, waste, and disaster management can help account for cross-case variation in whether protesters elevate preexisting environmental grievances to the national level during episodes of mass mobilization. In doing so, we highlight the explanatory power of discursive battles between state and society over the “imbued meaning” of industrialized resources. By examining environmental movements in two cases from the “second wave” of 21st century Arab uprisings, Jordan and Lebanon, we assess different policy discourses toward environmental concerns in past decades.

Marwa Daoudy. 2022. What is Climate Security? Framing Risks around Water, Food and Migration in the Middle East and North Africa. WIREs Water. February 2022.

From academics to practitioners, many voices have amplified an increasingly popular narrative posing a climate–conflict–migration nexus. This essay reviews the literature on climate security, exploring the human security impacts of climate change in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) with particular attention to the scholarly literature on vulnerability and adaptation. It also examines the policy implications of discourses that frame water, food, and climate-induced migration as security threats. This review highlights how incorporating human security perspectives from the fields of development and environmental justice into security studies more adequately illuminates complex issues of “climate security.” Drawing on the human security perspective, this review uses empirical material from the MENA to illustrate the enhanced analytical utility of moving beyond state-based framings of climate security to include communal and individual well-being. These alternative understandings of climate security offer promising venues for assessing differential vulnerability and adaptive capacities in the MENA region.

Marwa Daoudy. 2021. Rethinking the Climate–Conflict Nexus: A Human–Environmental–Climate Security ApproachGlobal Environmental Politics. Vol. 21, Issue 3, pp. 4-25.

Scholars of environmental politics and policy experts have long debated whether climate change can be linked to violent conflict. I present a new framework called human–environmental–climate security (HECS), which integrates critiques of traditional security frameworks while offering a systematized method of process tracing. Using existing concepts of vulnerability and resilience, I illustrate the empirical utility of centering the human subject and local conceptions of security when analyzing the role of climate in armed conflict. I develop this framework using the cases of Syria, Sudan, and Morocco. I argue that the ecological drivers of conflicts in Sudan and Syria are best understood as a result of policy decisions that reflected the ideology and preferences of ruling elites rather than direct functions of climate change. Conversely, I present the case of Morocco as a counterfactual in which sound government policy attenuated environmental drivers of conflict. In doing so, this approach considers the impacts of international and domestic structures of inequality on people’s climate vulnerability and resilience.

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.

Marwa Daoudy. 2023. Water and Climate Challenges in the Middle East: A Human Security Perspective. In Enhancing Water Security in the Middle East, Al Sharq Strategic Research. Pp. 51-90.

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.