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Cooperation And Conflict On The Nile River Basin: A Hydro-mentality Approach

Congress: 2015
Author(s): WOndwosen Seide (Djibouti, Djibouti)


Keyword(s): Sub-theme 12: Transboundary river basins and shared aquifers,
AbstractThis article tries to see the politics of the Nile from what I hope is a fresh angel by analyzing the mind-set that informs the politics of the riparian states, particularly by focusing on Egypt and Ethiopia. In doing so, it tries to expose the important relationships between 'Mentality' and 'Nile Politics', which I call 'Hydro-Mentality' of the Nile. This writing therefore focuses on state and popular perceptions of the Nile and its use by other member states of the basin. I argue that because of the emphasis given to the issues of hydro-politics, hydro-hegemony, geopolitics, cooperation and conflict, the very important subject of "mentality" and "perceptions" that inform the politics of the Nile has received very little or no attention by scholars. This writer is of the opinion that it is not the presence of dams on the ground, but the presence of fear and suspicious, which is complicating the upper-down riparian relations. I argue that mentalities that impact and at times determining the policies and positions of states when it comes to the use of the Nile waters has to be given serious attention among policy makers, in the scholarship and debate. The Nile war prediction tendency in scholars and commentators can be understood from this lens of hydro-mentality. In fact, without a proper understanding of the hydro-mentality of both the state and popular perceptions of the Basin states, it is almost impossible to address the problems currently facing the Nile. Key words: Hydro-Mentality, Eastern Nile, Cooperation, Confidence, Perception,
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