Water, War, and Diplomacy in Human History
“If the wars of this century were fought over oil, the wars of the next century will be fought over water” (Ismail Serageldin (Vice-President, World Bank, 1995)). This oft-quoted prediction of a world at war with itself is a reminder of the tremendous, existential importance of fresh, clean water for human life. But, we should ask, how often do human communities actually take up violence as a solution to water crises? How accurate is Serageldin’s prediction and what are the specific conditions that most likely spark a “water war”? When does water scarcity act as a crisis multiplier leading to battle? Or, does water, because it is so non-negotiable to human life, lead more readily to compromise, diplomacy, and peaceful resolutions
Nicholas Breyfogle, Department of History, will lead us in discussion.
About Mershon Monday
Mershon Mondays encourage Ohio State researchers in different disciplines, career stages, and professional networks to share ideas and perspectives on global security questions. A light lunch is served. Given a strong response in the fall, we're now requesting advance registration.