Regional Hydropolitics in Mainland South East Asia: A New Deal in a New Era?

  • Joakim Öjendal
Part of the The New Regionalism book series (NERE)


Following the termination of the Cold War, the formation of conflicts in the international system has been altered. Many regional Cold War-inspired conflicts were either resolved or changed nature. The struggle for limited resources, be it oil, fish or water, is one of the most commonly mentioned reasons for future conflicts (Homer-Dixon, 1994). These changes carry considerable importance for the development and security of the Mainland South East Asia. The Cambodia conflict, which was fuelled by the superpowers and involved, directly or indirectly, the regional great powers of Thailand and Vietnam, was largely resolved in 1993. There is, however, no lack of tension in this subregion. In this case I am exploring the potential for regional co-operation in order to avoid conflicts over limited water resources.2 This chapter serves the double purpose of emphasizing the importance of establishing a common water use agreement for encouraging co-operation rather than triggering conflict, and, in the light of this, analyses the recently concluded agreement between the riparians in the Lower Mekong River Basin.


Mekong Delta Asian Development Bank Khmer Rouge Mekong River Commission Mekong River Basin 
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© The United Nations University/World Institute for Development Economics Research, Katajanokanlaituri 6B, 00160 Helsinki, Finland 2000

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  • Joakim Öjendal

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