Journal Article

Water Nationalism in Egypt: State-building, Nation-making and Nile Hydro-politics

Published on 1 May 2018

The science of politics that characterizes IR-related hydropolitical theories might be too rigid to understand the various historical trajectories, diversity, and pathways of water-related interstate relations around the world. These perspectives provide little understanding on the social construction of norms and beliefs at the individual, societal, and transboundary levels. Social constructivism has barely been applied to hydropolitics (the only exception being Julien, 2012, at a theoretical level and a few studies on water securitization – see in particular Fischhendler, 2015).

This book chapter will use this lens by focusing on the nation and the state as social constructs. This also means that the level of analysis will be on the interrelation between domestic politics and international relations, broadening out the analysis of insights on inter-state conflict and cooperation to multiple and interconnected scales (Menga, 2016). As most disputes occur following a unilateral action by a riparian to divert water or to build a dam, there is an urgent need to better understand the domestic politics leading to this particular decision.

Cite this publication

Hanna, R. and Allouche, J. (2018) 'Water Nationalism in Egypt: State-building, Nation-making and Nile Hydro-politics' in Menga, F. and Swyngedouw, E. (eds), Water, Technology and the Nation-State, Routledge


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