Department or Program


Second Department or Program



In 1947 India and Pakistan, sworn enemies on all fronts, managed to settle a water dispute on the Indus Basin eventually signing one of the most successful treaties that have since existed on the water front. I investigate this puzzle of cooperation in my thesis. Ultimately I show that the Indus Waters Treaty succeeded due to the intervention of an epistemic community which managed to depoliticize the dispute and establish an equitable treaty between the two sides. Without the contribution of the epistemic community the outcome of cooperation would most likely have been unsuccessful. I specify also that the initial impetus for cooperation came in the form of an international idea on dam construction which “convinced” India and (epiphenomenally) Pakistan that the dispute on the Indus needed to be resolved urgently and cooperatively.This is only part of the explanation however; the research conducted in this thesis leads to the conclusion that the distribution of bargaining capabilities between the signatories played a central role in determining the empowerment of the epistemic community, which then intervened to ensure a successful outcome of cooperation.

Level of Access

Restricted: Campus/Bates Community Only Access

Date of Graduation

Spring 5-2012

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Number of Pages


Components of Thesis

1 pdf file

4 maps (sources online)


Available to Bates community via local IP address or Bates login.