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Water as Global Social Policy—International Organizations, Resource Scarcity, and Environmental Security

Schmidt, Jeremy J. (2021) 'Water as Global Social Policy—International Organizations, Resource Scarcity, and Environmental Security.', in International Organizations in Global Social Governance. London: Palgrave, pp. 275-296. Global Dynamics of Social Policy.


Water is an important area of global social policy. This chapter provides historical context for understanding how international organizations developed a distinctly global orientation to water policy alongside the emergence of global hydrology in the mid-twentieth century. Subsequently, international organizations linked concerns over water scarcity to integrated approaches to resource management. As human impacts on the global water system accelerated into the twenty-first century, international organizations influenced the shift from concerns over resource scarcity to those over environmental security. Water security is now central to how international organizations frame and respond to risks affecting interconnected environmental and economic systems.

Item Type:Book chapter
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Publisher statement:© The Author(s) 2021 This book is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this book are included in the book's Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the book's Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder.
Date accepted:No date available
Date deposited:08 April 2021
Date of first online publication:08 April 2021
Date first made open access:08 April 2021

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