Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Public Affairs/International Relations

First Advisor

Robert Weiner

Second Advisor

Leila Farsakh

Third Advisor

Michael Keating


As we become more firmly established in the 21st century, the international system faces a number of increasingly more difficult challenges that pose threats to global security and human progress. Among these challenges, water scarcity and failing states have each received prominent attention in both the academic and policy realms. Water serves a number of critical purposes for human survival and socio-economic activity. The threat of water scarcity is becoming increasingly salient and the capacity of states to ensure water security, and other securities which water security supports, is being tested. Fragile and failing states also occupy significant space in the discourse of international security, because as governless places, these states are linked to abhorrent civil violence, terrorism, trafficking of arms, and drugs and other illicit goods and services, all of which threaten regional and global security. Using the case of Pakistan, this thesis will demonstrate the interconnections between water security and state strength, explicating the ways in which water security underpins economic development, human development and security, and bolsters state institutional capacity. As a state that exhibits both weak state features and water insecurity, Pakistan provides a demonstration of how the absence of water security makes tenuous the stability and capacity of an already fragile state.