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The Process of Negotiation Over International Water Disputes:The Case of the Nile Basin

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The political aspects of the consultation process on the Nile issues are used to demonstrate the dynamic nature of a negotiating process and to explain its possible outcomes. By looking at the dynamics of the process, and by investigating the underlying causes for drawbacks and successes of the process over time, characteristic features of the Nile case are identified. Two approaches, the Strategic Management Process (SMP) and Political Accounting System (PAS), are applied that allow a quantitative perspective on the process. In relative terms, both SMP and PAS analyses suggest that there is more disagreement among the riparians on water allocation and out-of-basin transfer of Nile water issues, and more agreement on regional cooperation. The results also suggest that there is an increasing trend of disagreement on water allocation over time. As suggested in the analysis and based on the observed trends, it is apparent that in the short-run, and given that all other factors/conditions remain constant, the Nile negotiation/consultation process is not progressing towards regional consensus/agreement on the three major Nile issues.

Affiliations: 1: Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, The Johns Hopkins University, Washington, DC 20036, USA; 2: Center for International Development and Conflict Management, University of Maryland, College Park, MD, USA


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