Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation

Bonds Across Divides: Track III Diplomacy in Environmental Peacebuilding Projects A case study of EcoPeace Middle East in the Jordan Basin

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  • This research explores the mechanisms of Track III diplomacy employed by EcoPeace Middle East, in the context of environmental peacebuilding within the Jordan Basin region. Focusing on how these mechanisms contribute to improving water quality and quantity, the study delves into their processes in facilitating cooperation among conflicting parties—Israelis, Palestinians, and Jordanians. Through qualitative analysis of interviews, field notes, and documents, the research uncovers the pivotal role of Track III diplomacy in bridging divides through environmental education, dialogue; environmental enhancement; the creation of neutral platforms and institutions; and social cohesion building. Key findings highlight the strategic use of environmental issues as both a security concern and a depoliticized space for cooperation, emphasizing the intricate balance between addressing immediate environmental needs and navigating complex geopolitical dynamics. The study identifies the dual nature of environmental challenges as both conflict drivers and potential peacebuilding bridges, illustrating how shared environmental concerns can unite disparate groups. However, it also acknowledges significant barriers, including political tensions, normalization debates, and asymmetrical power relations, which can impede the peacebuilding process. Moreover, the research contributes to the academic discourse by presenting a framework within Track III diplomacy literature which include mapping out the mechanisms EcoPeace employs in its peacebuilding efforts. It sheds light on the critical role civil society plays in advancing environmental peacebuilding and sustainable water management, despite the increasing securitization of water resources that often excludes non-state actors from decision-making processes. The study concludes by underscoring the importance of continued and enhanced Track III efforts in the region, advocating for inclusive, multi-level approaches that address both environmental and political challenges. By doing so, it not only fills a gap in the existing literature on Track III environmental peacebuilding mechanisms but also offers insights into the practical applications and challenges of implementing such initiatives in conflict-affected areas.
  • Key Words: Environmental Peacebuilding, Water Diplomacy, Track III diplomacy, EcoPeace Middle East
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