Cite: Fröhlich, The Israeli–Palestinian Water Conflict

Fröhlich, Christiane J. “Security and Discourse: the Israeli–Palestinian Water Conflict.” Conflict, Security & Development 12.2 (2012): 123-148.

 

URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/14678802.2012.688290

 

Abstract

When conflictive viewpoints are discursively strengthened, they develop into a ‘conflict discourse’ with a specific discursive structure which perpetuates conflict, like the discursive securitisation of an issue for varying audiences. When they are weakened, however, societal discourse can potentially change so that agreement becomes possible again, thus achieving discursive conflict transformation. This article analyses the Israeli and the Palestinian water discourse. On both sides, the dominant discourse structures underscore the conflictive issues regarding the distribution of water between Israelis and Palestinians, thus making communication, let alone negotiation, downright impossible. While Palestinians regard the natural water resources as sufficient in principle and the existing scarcity as entirely politically induced, Israelis perceive the natural water resources as absolutely scarce while receiving major de-securitisation impulses from the possibility of desalination. In the respective (minor) counter-discourses, however, possible starting points for dialogue and conflict resolution are visible.

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