MA in International Water Governance and Water Diplomacy (in English)

Training location: Ludovika Campus, Budapest
The two year MA programme in International Water Governance and Water Diplomacy, starting September 2020, offers up-to-date, practice-oriented education for practicing and future water managers, diplomats, national and international civil servants engaged in transboundary or global environmental issues. Based on a blend of natural and social sciences, extensive field training and project-based team work, the programme is aimed to enable students to master complex water policy challenges, decision and conflict situations.

The aim of the 4-semester training is to produce Hungarian and foreign experts who, with the knowledge they have acquired, are able to carry out international tasks in international, EU and national water management organisations.

Why study international water governance and diplomacy?
While water war theories have been a popular feature of international politics for decades, reality shows that even bitter interstate tensions surrounding water tend to become a source of cooperation rather than conflict. The potent megatrends of our era, such as demographic change, urbanization or climate change, however, create new pressures on how countries manage water domestically and in their international relations. Scientific consensus suggests that the current water crisis is a crisis of governance. The root of the problem, therefore, lies not necessarily in the limited availability of water. Rather, how laws, policy and financial decisions on water are made, implemented and followed up by government and society. Such challenges surface with even greater force in intestate context where the action or inaction of a country may give rise to disproportionate negative impacts on the water resources available to others. Consequently, the knowledge of how to prevent, manage and resolve water conflicts at the domestic and international level will be a critical asset for the prosperity and stability of any nation in the 21st century.

Structure and content of the MA programme comprises five broad knowledge clusters as follows (detailed programme see below):

  • General questions of water management provides an introduction to the scientific and technical fundamentals of water governance: hydrology, integrated water resources management and environmental/sustainability challenges of water policy,
  • Introduction to water governance and conflict management covers the institutions, politics and economics of water governance from a general perspective. It also touches upon the fundamentals of decision-systems, conflict management and communication,
  • Water law comprises three different courses dedicated to the legal regulation of water at national, international and European Union level,
  • International water governance focuses on theoretical, political and institutional questions of water governance (safe conflict resolution). It also provides an introduction to water project management from an international perspective,
  • Water diplomacy and international conflict management is dedicated to the prevention and resolution of water-related interstate conflicts and disputes. It also covers a general introduction to diplomacy and the military dimensions of water.