Small is beautiful but not trendy: Understanding the allure of big hydraulic works in the Euphrates-Tigris and Nile waterscapes

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Hussein H., CONKER A., Grandi M.

MEDITERRANEAN POLITICS, vol.27, no.3, pp.297-320, 2022 (SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 27 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/13629395.2020.1799167
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, International Bibliography of Social Sciences, Geobase, Index Islamicus, PAIS International, Political Science Complete, Public Affairs Index, Sociological abstracts, Worldwide Political Science Abstracts
  • Page Numbers: pp.297-320
  • Keywords: Middle East and North Africa, hydraulic infrastructures, water policy, hydraulic mission, hydropolitics, ANATOLIA PROJECT GAP, WATER, DAMS, CONFLICT, POLITICS, ETHIOPIA, ROGUN, POWER, WAR
  • Yıldız Technical University Affiliated: Yes


The number of massive hydraulic infrastructures such as large-scale dams, huge hydropower plants, and broad irrigation networks has increased to an unprecedented level during the twentieth century. While the trend has recently slowed, building giant water infrastructures is still an utmost priority in many parts of the world across state elites. Informed by insights from major transboundary waterscapes - the river basins of the Euphrates-Tigris and the Nile - this paper analyses how states ' elites justify their hydraulic mission, finding that four distinctive discursive practices are efficiently used in the case studies: securitization, opportunization, de-politicization, and framing.