From Threat to Opportunity: Does a Lack of Environmental Resources Lead to Cooperation?

  • Šárka Waisová
Keywords: environmental cooperation, conflict, China, Taiwan, Palestine, Israel, non-tradeable natural resources


The research of the relationship between conflicts and natural resources has been dominated by an understanding of natural resources as a cause of conflicts, and the term “conflict resources” has been used in connection with this. Here I offer another approach and present the hypothesis that a lack of environmental resources (environmental resources and raw materials are together understood as natural resources) and environmental degradation can offer a peace-building opportunity. I argue that environmental resources are not transportable, extractable or lootable, which decreases their market significance. At the same time, the conflict-prone communities are aware that non-tradeable goods play a vital role in their life and the quality of the goods depends on the collaboration among all the actors in the region. This situation results in so-called “environmental interdependence”. Environmental interdependence works as an impulse for cooperation across the cleavage lines. The hypothesis is tested on two case studies – that of the relationship between Israel and Palestine and that of the relations between mainland China and Taiwan.

Author Biography

Šárka Waisová



Research Articles

Most read articles by the same author(s)