SAC # 107

Conflict management of riparian disputes and the role of third parties in transboundary river cooperation in Asia and Africa



TIME | 21 April 2011, 4pm onwards

LOCATION | CSAFE Seminar Room, , Dunedin

SPEAKER | Elvira Bobekova


One of the factors that are believed to contribute to cooperation over transboundary rivers is the involvement of third parties. Yet it is not fully understood whether and how third parties are able to induce cooperation among adversarial riparian states. This study fills this lacuna by utilising new data. I collected new data on the role of third party involvement in river disputes in Asia and Africa and findings suggest that third party involvement increases the likelihood of emergence of river agreements by facilitating communication, sharing and obtaining information, and providing financial incentives and technical expertise. Third parties are able to influence on behaviour of states because river disputes mostly possess tangible values and are closely linked to developmental needs of states thus giving much more flexibility and avenues for third parties to induce cooperation. Such additional factors as power preponderance, reduced security threat in the form of alliances and interdependence are also found to be conducive for river cooperation.

About the Speaker

Elvira Bobekova is a PhD student at the Centre of Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Otago. The preliminary topic of her PhD research is conflict management of riparian disputes and the role of third parties in Asia and Africa. The research project aims to understand if third parties influence on behavior of conflicting states towards cooperation and if they do, how and why third parties are able to bring conflicting parties towards cooperation. The project aims to develop theoretical ground and identify practical implications of the involvement of third parties in states that have a contentious issues over international rivers.

Elvira Bobekova is originally from Kyrgyzstan, a former Soviet Union country. She received an ADB scholarship to do her MA in Development Studies at the University of Auckland and came to New Zealand in 2005. 


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