News media coverage of conflict and cooperation dynamics of water events in the Lancang–Mekong River basin

Wei, Jing; Wei, Yongping; Tian, Fuqiang; Nott, Natalie; de Wit, Claire; Guo, Liying; Lu, You

Riparian countries have their respective values and priorities for water management, and their values of shared water have fundamental impacts for their propensity to be involved in cooperative management and adhere to treaties/agreements. However, there is limited understanding of the changing values and interests of each riparian country. Taking the Lancang–Mekong River basin as a case study, this paper aims to analyse the evolution of water conflict and cooperation dynamics from the perspectives of multiple countries. Newspaper articles were used as the key data source as they provide insights into events reported on by the media that are representative of each country/sector they are published within. The results depict a trend of cooperative sentiments towards water events occurring within the region. The six riparian countries (China, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam) had a greater average sentiment score (0.5) for cooperation than international countries (0.16) for the majority of the study period. The trend also shows that countries further downstream showed lower cooperative sentiments, except for Vietnam (China 0.86, Myanmar 0.58, Laos 0.46, Thailand 0.34, Cambodia 0.13, Vietnam 0.91). Dam infrastructure was often negatively reported (60 % of negatively reported articles), which is therefore a major contributor to conflict for the Lancang–Mekong River basin. Events that are positively reported are those that aid in connecting leaders and project developers between riparian countries including meetings, bilateral and multilateral cooperation, and development projects. These findings provide the basis for further revealing the mechanism of cooperation and conflicts as well as more proactively managing cooperation and conflict in the Lancang–Mekong River basin and beyond.



Wei, Jing / Wei, Yongping / Tian, Fuqiang / et al: News media coverage of conflict and cooperation dynamics of water events in the Lancang–Mekong River basin. 2021. Copernicus Publications.


12 Monate:

Grafik öffnen


Rechteinhaber: Jing Wei et al.

Nutzung und Vervielfältigung: