IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Liberal peace and shared resources – A fair-weather phenomenon?


  • Anna Kalbhenn

    () (Center for Comparative and International Studies (CIS), and Institute for Environmental Decisions (IED), ETH Zürich)


The aim of this article is to empirically analyse liberal peace arguments in the context of shared river basins. In particular, it argues that counter to the water war hypothesis, sharing a river need not necessary lead to conflict over the shared resource: relying on liberal arguments, joint democracy is expected to facilitate trust and thus cooperation over transboundary rivers. Furthermore, by mitigating asymmetries, facilitating (implicit) side-payments and issue linkage, both economic and political interlinkages may encourage cooperation over shared rivers. Previous work suggests that these factors might be a ‘fair-weather’ phenomenon, that is, that they play a role only for problems that are easy to solve. In this article, liberal effects are allowed to vary with the difficulty of the underlying problem by separating different issues and geographic situations. Empirically, the article focuses on intergovernmental behaviour using a new dataset on transboundary water events covering all international basins for a period of eleven years (1997–2007). The results show that indeed liberal peace factors matter with respect to intergovernmental interaction over shared river basins and the effect of joint democracy is more prominent under ‘fair-weather’ conditions.

Suggested Citation

  • Anna Kalbhenn, 2011. "Liberal peace and shared resources – A fair-weather phenomenon?," Journal of Peace Research, Peace Research Institute Oslo, vol. 48(6), pages 715-735, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:joupea:v:48:y:2011:i:6:p:715-735

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Thomas Bernauer & Tobias Bohmelt, 2014. "Basins at Risk: Predicting International River Basin Conflict and Cooperation," Global Environmental Politics, MIT Press, vol. 14(4), pages 116-138, November.
    2. Anita Milman & Lisa Bunclark & Declan Conway & William Adger, 2013. "Assessment of institutional capacity to adapt to climate change in transboundary river basins," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 121(4), pages 755-770, December.


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:sae:joupea:v:48:y:2011:i:6:p:715-735. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (SAGE Publications). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.