Ashok Swain

Ashok Swain
Uppsala University | UU · Department of Peace and Conflict Research

Professor

About

136
Publications
115,582
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Introduction
Ashok Swain is a Professor at the Department of Peace and Conflict Research, Uppsala University. He also holds the UNESCO Chair of International Water Cooperation. Ashok does research in International Relations, Environmental & Water Security, Conflict Processes and Foreign Policy. '
Additional affiliations
September 2008 - December 2012
Uppsala University
Position
  • Managing Director
November 2005 - present
Uppsala University
Position
  • Professor (Full)

Publications

Publications (136)
Chapter
Full-text available
To understand the link between the environment and human security, the water–food–energy nexus is critical. Indeed, a growing body of literature shows how environmental degradation and change fundamentally affect the livelihood of people around the world, especially through pathways related to water, food, and energy. In fragile and conflict-affect...
Chapter
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On need of education on water in schools and universities
Article
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Dysfunctional water, sanitation and hygiene (WaSH) systems are mainly determined by poor water governance, exacerbating inequalities and poverty. Multi-stakeholder partnerships provide an approach to more flexible and adaptive governance to explore these problems. In this article, national commitments made to improve WaSH, made through the Sanitati...
Chapter
For international and domestic actors, postconflict situations constitute one of the most difficult policy arenas to understand and operate within. In this context, the sustainable management of natural resources to prevent conflict and build peace-before, during, or after conflict-has received increasing scholarly attention over the past three dec...
Chapter
The scarcity of freshwater is often seen as a potential source of conflict. It is discussed in this study comparing five internationally shared major rivers. The authors find that river-basin regimes have an important function in mediating such conflicts and may in fact lead to cooperation between the riparian states. This study from 1997 is one of...
Book
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This comprehensive Handbook tackles the increasingly urgent problem of the impact of climate change on conflict and human security. It analyses the ways in which scarcity of resources leads to food, water and health insecurities, resulting in population migration. Featuring contributions from leading international scholars, chapters cover how these...
Preprint
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The ´decade of action´ to achieve the ambitious 17 Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 is off to a very challenging start. With progress on the achievement of most SDGs already lagging behind even before the Covid-19 crisis-our analysis nds that the pandemic negatively affects the achievement of 144 targets (almost 90%) of the SDGs. However, 66 t...
Technical Report
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A Paper Prepared for the Development Policy Analysis Division of the United Nations, Department of Economics and Social Affairs
Presentation
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Water diplomacy, the dynamic practice of negotiating ways to manage shared water resources, is widely used by states who share common water boundaries. By design, it promises greater political engagement in shared water management. In practice, however, it employs a limited set of policy tools that often miss the local dynamics and complexities of...
Chapter
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Routledge Handbook on Middle East Security provides the first comprehensive look at Middle East security issues that includes both traditional and emerging security threats. Taking a broad perspective on security, the volume offers both analysis grounded in the 'hard' military and state security discourse but also delves into the 'soft' aspects of...
Article
This article analyzes key factors affecting transboundary water cooperation in the Brahmaputra River basin at multiple scales. The analysis of multi-track diplomacy reaffirms the potential of actor-inclusive approaches, arguing for a need to go beyond purely focusing on formal legal norms and consider the possibilities of cultural norms of informal...
Book
The past two decades have witnessed the emergence of a large body of research examining the linkage between environmental scarcity, violent conflict, and cooperation. However, this environmental security polemic is still trying to deliver a well-defined approach to achieving peace. Studies are being undertaken to find the precise pathways by which...
Article
As a key policy tool, water diplomacy offers greater political engagement in the cooperative management of shared water. A range of initiatives has been dedicated to this end, almost invariably oriented around the interactions of nation states. Crucially, however, practitioners of water diplomacy also need to address water governance at sub-state l...
Chapter
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This chapter examines the international and domestic costs of noncooperation among and within the countries comprising the Indus basin. Its focus is on all four of the co-riparian basin states, but India and Pakistan receive special attention due to their prominent position in the basin’s water use and management. Besides the international costs, i...
Chapter
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Water security is a multifaceted concept that spreads over political, social, economic and biophysical fields, becoming increasingly important in the age of looming global water crises. Previous research outcomes suggest that escalating global water crises are the results of governance failure not limited to physical shortages of freshwater resourc...
Technical Report
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Water diplomacy will play an increasingly important role in preventing, mitigating and resolving a growing number of water-related conflicts around the world. However, the theory and practice of cooperation over shared waters and the implementation of multi-track water diplomacy are not sufficiently developed. Concepts and approaches such as multi...
Article
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Global health catastrophes have complex origins, often rooted in social disruption, poverty, conflict, and environmental collapse. Avoiding them will require a new integrative analysis of the links between disease, armed conflict, and environmental degradation within a socioecological vulnerability and human security context...
Book
Increasingly the Middle East and its growing population face a highly complex and fragile security system. The rich deposits of natural resources, such as oil and gas, suffer from a strained renewable resource base that includes water and arable land. This leads to water scarcity, desertification, and land degradation. Increasing population, indust...
Research
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The Middle East, as much as ever, is the focus of international attention, but the obvious crises may be a distraction from deeper underlying issues. Instability in the Middle East is usually assessed and addressed through the parameters of regional and global security. The blunted ambitions of the Arab Spring and ongoing civil wars in Syria and Ye...
Chapter
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South Asia is the sub-Himalayan southern region of the Asian continent, com- prising eight countries: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. South Asia has a population of about 1.6 billion, which is characterized by significant cultural divergences between and within the states. An estimated 2,000 ethnic g...
Chapter
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Water plays a fundamental role in human health and development. However, the world is currently suff ering from a global water crisis. Th e water scarcity issue in many parts of the world has been aggravated by factors including growing populations, uneven development, violent confl icts and the impact of global climate change. Th e water crisis is...
Chapter
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This article was originally published in the International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences, 2nd edition, published by Elsevier, and the attached copy is provided by Elsevier for the author's benefit and for the benefit of the author's institution, for non-commercial research and educational use including without limitation use in i...
Article
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The Indian prime minister Narendra Modi's charisma doesn't stem from his policies, it comes from his credentials as a Hindu nationalist.
Chapter
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Global climatic change is an environmental problem of potentially devastating proportions. Evidence of global warming has the potential to bring huge insecurity over food and water availability and also being the cause of large-scale human displacement. Climate change can be a " threat multiplier " by bringing political and economic instability, pa...
Article
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The fuel shortage caused by the Indian blockade has pushed Nepalis to deforest lands in search of firewood for cooking. As much as Nepal, Bihar will pay the price.
Article
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Water-management issues cut across all sectors of governance and have a critical bearing on many post-conflict challenges. The imperative of adequate water supply, and the weakness of the state in post-conflict period provide a nexus, which demands comprehensive and well-thought-out policy planning, for the short- as well as for the long-term. Yet,...
Book
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Climate change has an impact on the ability of transboundary water management institutions to deliver on their respective mandates. The starting point for this book is that actors within transboundary water management institutions develop responses to the climate change debate, as distinct from the physical phenomenon of climate change. Actors resp...
Research
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Paper presented at the International Seminar on ‘Perspectives on Contemporary India’ at Leiden, the Netherlands on 16-17 April 2015.
Research
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Paper presented at the International Seminar on ‘Perspectives on Contemporary India’ at Leiden, the Netherlands on 16-17 April 2015.
Article
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Rainfall-induced natural disasters rank first among all natural disasters in Central America. Due to the geographical conditions of the Central American region, it is common that two or more countries are struck by the same rainfall event, for example Hurricane Mitch in 1998 affected the entire Central American region, killing more than 18 000 peop...
Article
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The river Paz is a transboundary river that flows through Guatemala and El Salvador. Its frequent floods endanger the lives and livelihoods of downstream communities. Attempts have previously been made to develop flood management programmes for this watershed. However, these approaches were generally made by high-level governmental institutions wit...
Article
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In the pursuit of economic development, Ethiopia has prioritized renewable energy production, emphasizing development of its hydropower potential. As part of this strategy, it is presently constructing the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) on the Blue Nile River, ignoring opposition from the downstream Egypt. In this paper, we use the seven co...
Article
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Floods are events that under certain conditions have negative consequences for the environment , human society and related assets, besides posing major challenges for better governance of complex water systems. Guatemala is a mountainous country that is frequently hit by tropical hurricanes. A large portion of its population lives in floodplain are...
Article
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Ethiopia's construction of the Grand Renaissance Dam on the Blue Nile River is creating serious tension among Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia. Egypt fears that the dam's large storage will put control of valuable Nile water in the hands of upstream Ethiopia, and has tried unsuccessfully to deter Ethiopia from completing the project. Meanwhile, Sudan has...
Article
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Rainfall induced natural disasters rank first among all natural disasters in Central America. According to the records of the EM-DAT international database, 248 out of 486 disasters registered in Central America were disasters triggered by rainfall invents, in countries like Belize and Honduras, rainfall-induced natural disasters, mainly floods and...
Article
Many developing countries pursue policies of rapid industrialization in order to achieve faster economic growth. Some policies cause displacement forcing many individuals to take up a fight against the state. Interestingly some of these dissenting individuals are more successful in organizing their protests than others. In this book, Ashok Swain de...
Article
This book offers an overview of emerging security challenges in the global environment in the post-Cold War era.
Book
Attention to the security-development nexus has become commonplace in national and global policy-making, and yet the exact nature of the term remains undefined. This study approaches the subjects of development and security from a variety of different perspectives, offering an array of interpretations of the nexus along with an analysis of its pote...
Chapter
Following a global flurry of 'new wars' and 'new conflicts' in the post-Cold War era (Kaldor 2007; Keen 2008), a lot of rethinking has been done (and certainly will be done) on the causes of violent conflict in the global system. After a decade dominated by, inter alia, '9/11', the unstable and violent African development context and the relatively...
Article
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Shared rivers are not only expected to cause conflict, but they can also contribute to build engagement and cooperation among the riparian states. Particularly in the last two decades, several competing riparian countries have formally agreed to share and, in some cases develop their common water resources. Many agreements have been drawn up in the...
Chapter
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Since the early 1990s the international community has been increasingly adopting liberal state-building as part of a wider liberal peacebuilding strategy for addressing the plethora of problems facing post-conflict societies (Chandler 2006; Chesterman 2005; Kostic 2007; MacGinty 2006; Paris 2004). In that sense, liberal state-building is viewed as...
Article
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In the 1990s, many agreements were drawn up in the South to share the international river basins. Noteworthy ones are Zambezi, Mekong, Jordan, Ganges and Nile rivers. These agreements are going through severe stress due to increasing water demand and climate change-induced uncertainties. In these cases, the riparian countries agreed for water shari...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Increasing population coupled with globalization and industrialization has left an indelible mark on the earth's ecosystems, producing extensive environmental damage. Dangers arising from the world's environmental problems often impact across state borders, with devastating consequences. Global climate change has been a product and also at the same...
Book
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This study aims to identify regions in the Zambezi River Basin in Southern Africa that are prone to risk of violent conflicts (collective violence, popular unrest) induced by climatic changes/variability. The Zambezi River is 2575 kilometres long and the basin covers eight countries: Zambia, Angola, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Tanzania, Botswana, Mozambique...
Article
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For most of the 20th century, the Nile River has been the source of political tensions and low-intensity conflicts among three of its major riparian countries (Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt). However, since the late 1990s, the Nile basin countries—with the encouragement and support of the international community—have made some attempts to establish bas...
Article
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This study aims to identify regions in the Zambezi River Basin in Southern Africa that are prone to risk of violent conflicts (collective violence, popular unrest) induced by climatic changes/variability. The Zambezi River is 575 kilometres long and the basin covers eight countries: Zambia, Angola, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Tanzania, Botswana, Mozambique a...
Article
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The origins of the global water crisis are well known and are not limited to climate factors alone. However, the crisis is of such a magnitude that it is growing into an issue of common global concern. This perspective puts the focus on international rivers, as approximately ...
Chapter
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The chapter aims to highlight the importance of efficient management of the environment in providing stable and sustainable peace to a post-conflict society. An attempt has been made to give selected cases where sustainable economic development is neglected and short-term, situational development is favored in post-conflict peacebuilding systems. T...
Conference Paper
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Four days back, finance minister of Orissa said in a meeting of journalists that Orissa is not any more one of the poorest states in India. He reasoned that the annual revenue of the state has gone up from a mere 4000 crores (800 mln dollars) to 15000 crores (3 billion dollars). He further argued that the state should not anymore export raw materia...
Article
Drawing on an in-depth examination of the existing literature on social mobilization and extensive fieldwork conducted in India, Ashok Swain questions how displaced people mobilize to protest with the help of their social networks.
Article
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The peace process between India and Pakistan, which started in 2000, moved very slowly before coming to a standstill following the terror attack on Mumbai in November 2008. This article argues that both these two South Asian neighbours need to focus on new areas of bilateral cooperation, which might help them to build mutual trust and provide much-...
Article
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This article looks at the dynamics of Diaspora groups as a possible catalyst for peace-building within violent segmented societies. With the help of two case studies, Irish-America's role in Northern Ireland and Sri Lankan Tamil Diaspora's role in Sri Lanka, it locates the variable impacts of Diaspora involvement in violent conflicts within their h...
Book
This collection of essays addresses the important challenges and opportunities presented by the democratization process and the thorough societal changes occurring in many parts of the world. © 2009 Ashok Swain, Ramses Amer and Joakim Öjendal editorial matter and selection.
Chapter
Introduction and Context In 1974, starting with the arrival of democracy in Portugal, more than 60 countries in Europe, Latin America, Asia, and Africa have made transitions from authoritarianism to some form of democracy. Democracy has now become the dominant form of government in the world. Its appeal and popularity is more widespread than ever b...
Article
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Recently the concept of “diaspora” has become a popular subject and two polarized views dominate the study on diaspora behavior: the categorization of the diaspora as good or bad, conflict or peace promoter, spoiler or peace-maker. The majority of the research on diaspora politics places emphasis on its conflict-promoting character. Researchers arg...
Article
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Water has been called the oil of the 21st century. Global water consumption is rising steeply and the lack of adequate supplies of quality water is a problem in many parts of the world. Water is one of the most abundant elements of earth, covering nearly 1,400 million cubic kilometers, nearly 70 percent of the planet's surface. However, only a very...
Chapter
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IntroductionTraditional ApproachesModem ApproachesChallenges for New ApproachesReferences
Article
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Most recent violent conflicts are intrastate conflicts, and a majority are deterritorialized through the involvement of diaspora groups. Much existing research criticizes diaspora communities for financing war efforts, promoting extremism, and holding uncompromising political views. However, diasporas have also contributed to peacemaking efforts in...
Article
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R iver runoff is widely accepted as one of the most important sources of avaiable fresh water for human consumption. Worldwide, there are 263 major river systems that cross national boundaries and are responsible for 85 percent of the earth's runoff.' When two or more countries are dependent on the same river system, upstream withdrawal, pollution...
Conference Paper
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There is no clear consensus on the causal relationship between democracy and economic development. It is still a puzzle whether economic development comes before democratization or democratization comes before development. Some argue that economic growth leads to democracy, 1 while others suggest that democratic system is more conducive to economic...
Conference Paper
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Many recent research works have concluded that diasporas actively support violent conflicts in their homelands. Members of diaspora communities have been found to finance war efforts and to promote extremist ideology and uncompromising political views. They even directly take part in the conflict as combatants. However, as recent evidences suggest...
Book
This fascinating collected volume explores the relationship between world conflict, political unrest and the driving forces of Capitalism and Globalization.