Triggers for securitization: a discursive examination of Israeli–Palestinian water negotiations

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Courtesy of IWA Publishing

Discursive studies on natural resources often fail to examine how the language of existential threats is constructed, while the probable contextual factors for triggering securitization and its implications are also left unexamined. Applied to the Israeli–Palestinian water conflict, this study utilizes negotiation protocols from the Annapolis peace process to quantitatively examine how securitized discourses are triggered and constructed. The study determines that asymmetric actor ratio and negative background events trigger securitizing moves that in this case perpetuate enmity and division. Securitization under conflict scenarios is found to be mostly detrimental to the resolution of water issues as the resource becomes secondary to other high-profile concerns. A more favorable securitized discourse is identified, but this discourse is infrequent and characteristically aligned with the literature that espouses desecuritization.

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