Course code:



A - Advanced

Lab fee:


This course will look at the complex issues surrounding the development, distribution, use, and control of fresh water around the world.

Focusing primarily on developing countries, we will examine three aspects of water use and control. First we will look at the scope and impact of water development projects; second we will examine the conflicts and solutions related to transboundary river basins; and third we will consider the implication of privatization of water resources. By way of background, we will review the variety of demands placed on fresh water and the political institutions related to water development.

Students will gain a solid background in international environmental law as it relates to multilateral and bilateral treaties, customary law, multilateral institutions, and the guidance of international “soft law”. They will also understand the allocation and equity issues surrounding the privatization of water and the political dimensions of this shift. Ultimately, these issues will give a concrete understanding of some aspects of the concept of sustainable development.

Evaluation will be based on class participation, short analytical papers, and a substantial term-long assignment.



Solid background in international politics, economics, human rights, or development policy through coursework or personal experience.

Always visit the Registrar's Office for the official course catalog and schedules.