MEC webinar: MT21 Wk 2: The politics of water scarcity in the case of Jordan

Conveners: Middle East Centre, St Antony's College

Speaker: Dr. Hussam Hussein (DPIR/Oxford Martin School/Somerville)

This talk investigates the construction of the discourse of water scarcity in Jordan, and the political economy of the water sector. It identifies the actors constructing the discourse and the elements comprising the discourse. The research finds that there is a single dominant discourse of water scarcity, which is composed of two narratives: water insufficiency and water mismanagement. The water insufficiency narrative is constructed to emphasise factors external to the responsibility of the Jordanian government as reasons for water scarcity, like nature, refugees, and neighbouring countries. It is mainly constructed by governmental aligned actors and deployed to open solutions on the supply and conservation sides and ultimately to maintain the status quo of the current water uses. The water mismanagement narrative is constructed to emphasise as reasons for water scarcity factors of mismanagement of water resources and deployed to increase economic efficiency in the water sector, challenging existing uses, allocations, and benefits.

Dr Hussam Hussein is a departmental lecturer in International Relations at DPIR, Oxford Martin School Fellow in Water Diplomacy, and Fulford Junior Research Fellow at Somerville College.

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