The main purpose of this master thesis is to answer the research question; Do countries that share a river and also have an international river organization have more cooperation and less conflict, compared to countries without such organizations?
The theoretical framework is neo-liberal institutionalism, which emphasizes that obstacles in international relations such as absence of an authority in an anarchic world system, the lack of definite property rights, information uncertainties, asymmetries, and lack of an external and plausible enforcement authority can be remedied by functional international institutions.
Neomalthusians predict future water-wars, whereas cornucopians predict that resource scarcities will boost cooperation. Both claims have been supported by scholars. Brochmann & Gleditsch (2007) found that sharing an international water basin increases the propensity both for conflict and for cooperation. Their statistical analyses are replicated in this thesis, and I further build my research on their results. The role which can be played by international river organizations to reduce the likelihood for conflict and increase peaceful interaction between water-sharing states is investigated.