Rethinking Dialogic Narratives in Water Diplomacy
AbstractThe proposed paper aims to emancipate, critique and broaden the notion of communication associated with diplomacy studies. The purpose is to advance the understanding that conceptualising dialogue as a method, technique and institution can be relevant to the broader discourse on diplomacy studies. Empirically the paper would focus on two narratives- The first is the meta-narrative, which primarily examines the issues, concerns and expectations of the state actors, and the second is the micro-narrative, which examine the impact of these negotiated agreements at local level, thus bringing the ecological, social and cultural concerns upfront. Thus, the objective of this article is to emancipate the understanding of communication challenge in water diplomacy, which is often confronted with competing narratives. By informing the concept of narratives with dialogue, the paper attempts to open conceptual space to engage with Asian epistemological traditions, which often employed dialogic techniques in/between narratives to further communication. The article proceeds in three sections. The first section focuses on the importance of communication on water diplomacy, highlighting the intersections between narratives and dialogue. The second section focus es on Ganges Water Treaty in South Asia (which was a state actor led initiative). Highlighting the limitations of this narrative, limitations of communication in water diplomacy are highlighted. In the third section, South Asian epistemological tradition is revisited to foreground the importance of dialogue in formulating narratives, which can address the communication challenge in transboundary water cooperation.