Transboundary Water Governance through the Lens of International Relations


  • Shakeel Hayat Assistant Professor, Center for Water Informatics & Climate Resilience (CWC), IMSciences, Hayatabad, Peshawar, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan.
  • Hameed Jamali Assistant Professor, Center for Water Informatics & Climate Resilience (CWC), IMSciences, Hayatabad, Peshawar, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan.
  • Yamna Ihtisham Research Assistant, Center for Water Informatics & Climate Resilience (CWC), IMSciences, Hayatabad, Peshawar, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan.



Realism, Institutionalism, Multilevel Governance, International Relations, Transboundary Water Governance


This article discusses power and institutional theory with a (neo-) realist and institutionalist lenses regarding water governance. The main question is: how do power and institutions interact in the regulation of transboundary waters across many geographic scales? The sub-questions provide insights into the differing roles of realist and institutionalist perspectives in international relations (IR) and transboundary water governance, as well as the combined effects of power and institutions. This article discusses key approaches in IR (realism, neo-realism, institutionalism and neo-institutionalism). It then discusses concepts of hydro-hegemony, water governance and institutions. Lastly, institutions and power are demonstrated using a mixed methodology. By moulding relevant features of both perspectives into a middle ground, followed by a conclusion.


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How to Cite

Hayat, S., Jamali, H., & Ihtisham, Y. (2024). Transboundary Water Governance through the Lens of International Relations. Journal of Higher Education and Development Studies (JHEDS), 4(1), 77–89.