August 7, 2012
The Asia Society has selected Brahma Chellaney’s book Water: Asia’s New Battleground as a finalist for their 2012 Bernard Schwartz Book Award. Suzanne DiMaggio, Vice President of Asia Society’s Global Policy Programs, commented on the announcement of the finalists, saying, “The five finalists for the 2012 Bernard Schwartz Book Award each, in different ways, shed light on important trends, challenges, and opportunities taking place in Asia. They are required reading for all who want to better understand this dynamic region.”
We are proud that one of the finalists is a Georgetown University Press book. Water: Asia’s New Battleground is a pioneering study of Asia’s murky water politics and the relationships between freshwater, peace, and security. In this unique and highly readable book, Brahma Chellaney expertly paints a larger picture of water across Asia, highlights the security implications of resource-linked territorial disputes, and proposes real strategies to avoid conflict and more equitably share Asia’s water resources.
The Bernard Schwartz Book Award distinguishes books of nonfiction that focus on contemporary Asia or U.S.-Asia relations and promote a meaningful dialogue of the changes in Asia and their implications for the world at large. The other books that have been recognized are: Cambodia’s Curse by Joel Brinkley (PublicAffairs), China in Ten Words by Yu Hua (Pantheon Books), Deng Xiaoping and the Transformation of China by Ezra Vogel (Belknap Press of Harvard University Press), and Where China Meets India by Thant Myint-U (Farrar, Straus and Giroux).
November 4, 2011
Check out the video above to hear GU Press author Brahma Chellaney discuss water stress in Asia, and its effect on inter- and intrastate conflict. His book, Water: Asia’s New Battleground, has received several new reviews including from Asian Review of Books, Macro Viewpoints, Knowledge@Wharton, New Security Beat, and UPI.
August 31, 2011
The battles of yesterday were fought over land. Those of today are over energy. But the battles of tomorrow may be over water. Nowhere is that danger greater than in water-distressed Asia. Extensive irrigation, pollution, and global warming add massive strain to a system already short on water thanks to Asia’s rapidly expanding economies, surging populations, and a growing middle class that is using more and more washing machines and dishwashers and eating more meat, a notoriously water-intensive food source. Asia is the most water-scarce continent on a per capita basis—China and India are home to 37 percent of the world’s population but have to make do with 10.8 percent of its water.
Water stress is set to become Asia’s defining crisis of the twenty-first century, creating obstacles to continued rapid economic growth, stoking interstate tensions over shared resources, exacerbating long-time territorial disputes, and imposing further hardships on the poor. Many of Asia’s water sources cross national boundaries, and as less and less water is available, international tensions will rise. The potential for conflict is further underscored by China’s unrivaled global status as the source of transboundary river flows to the largest number of countries, ranging from India and Vietnam to Russia and Kazakhstan. Yet a fast-rising China has declined to enter into water-sharing or cooperative treaties with these states, even as it taps the resources of international rivers. Also of import is the fact that the important international rivers in China all originate in ethnic-minority homelands, some of which are racked by separatist movements.
Water: Asia’s New Battleground is a pioneering study of Asia’s murky water politics and the relationships between freshwater, peace, and security. In this unique and highly readable book, Brahma Chellaney expertly paints a larger picture of water across Asia, highlights the security implications of resource-linked territorial disputes, and proposes real strategies to avoid conflict and more equitably share Asia’s water resources. Stanley A. Weiss, founding chairman of Business Executives for National Security, asserts that Chellaney’s policy prescriptions “[give] us a way to stop these conflicts before they begin,” and praises Water as “a vital book for anybody interested in diplomacy and conflict in the twenty-first century.”