Final exam topics 2022.



1.    Present the hydrological cycle and the different forms of water.

2.    Give examples on water conflict, and please present them in more detail.

 3.    The "Anthropocene" phenomenon: history of global trends, pressures resulting in the "peak everything" era.

  • turning points, “revolutions” for the human-environment interaction
  • global megatrends of the 20th century
  • impact on human/social capital and natural capital
  • Planetary Boundaries: meaning of the term, key subsystems included

4.    Natural Capital in the 21st Century: key messages of the main post-2015 reports from IPBES, the Resource Panel, and the IPCC.

  • carrying capacity of natural resources for the material flow of the real economy
  • ecological services
  • trends of natural resource changes over the past 50 years
  • “doughnut economy”, “prosperity without growth”, circular economy as principles

5.    The notion of water governance and its relationship to water management, water law, and water policy. The four dimensions of water governance

  • notion of governance, relationship between government and governance
  • what is water governance? components of main definitions
  • critical relationships:
  • water management
  • water policy
  • water law
  • the four dimensions of water governance: social, economic, political, environmental
  • ethical and value-based considerations

6.    What are the core water governance functions and institutional variables that shape the design of water governance systems?

  • policy- and law(rule)-making
  • administrative supervision
  • actual management of water resources
  • main design variables
    • degree of centralisation/autonomy
    • geographical scale
    • role of non-governmental actors

7.    Why do you need to study economics within the realm of water and diplomacy, and what are the discipline’s basic approaches that are most important from this aspect?

  • From a theoretical point of view, you can provide examples as well.

8.    Introduce the concept of ecosystem services and the strengths and challenges of applying it from an economic perspective on water-related conflicts.

  • Could you describe a landscape degradation process with the use of the ecosystem service framework?

9.    Decision problems

  • What is a decision problem?
  • In what types of decision context should one consider using a decision support system?
  • Who are the key actors in a decision?

10.  Phases of decision-making

  • List and describe the phases leading to a decision from a value-focused thinking perspective
  • List the possible types of decisions (about the best management alternative).

11. Objective hierarchies

  • What is an objective hierarchy (in multi-attribute value theory)?
  • What are value/utility functions?
  • How is the objective hierarchy connected to value/utility functions?

12. Environmental impact assessment

  • public participation in EIA cases, constitutional background)
  • incl. the EIA type legal institutions,
  • EIS, procedural issues,

13. Water management, water protection, and waste management laws

  • incl. comparison,
  • interrelationships,
  • major tasks, structure,
  • the most important legal tools

14. Sources of international water law

  • the sources of international law
  • international custom and the role of scholarly bodies in its development
  • the international treaty framework (global conventions, regional and basin treaties, bilateral agreements)
  • international judicial activities, the main water-related cases

15. What are the key questions of transboundary water governance regulated by international water law?

  • water allocation
  • water quantity
  • hydrological variability
  • institutional questions
  • institutional questions
    • procedures for interventions in the basin with transboundary impacts,
    • monitoring and exchange of information,
    • institutional frameworks of cooperation,
    • dispute settlement.

16. The hydro-political cooperation dilemma and the key hydo-political theories

  • The collective action problem of shared waters and the hydro-political cooperation dilemma
  • The main relevant hydro-political theories
    • Water wars thesis
    • Water nationalism as a source of international conflict
    • Hydro-hegemony
    • Institutionalism

17. What are the main contemporary hydro-political hotspots?

  • Central Asia and the Middle East
  • South and South East Asia
  • Africa
  • Europe
  • South America 

18. What are ‘hydro-political resilience’ and ‘hydro-political vulnerability’, as seen from the perspective of the theory of risk (or the theory of reliability)?

19. What is a ‘project’? How does a project differ from operations (e.g., of an organization)? How can projects be classified? Mention an example of a project (e.g., from your daily life).

20. What is project management? Describe the project management cycle and processes, using a transboundary water project of your choice as an example.

21. What are the key features of the results-based approach to project management?

  • Result-based approach
  • Project hierarchy
  • Logic models
  • Logical framework

22. What are the most frequent topics of transboundary water projects?

  • Topics of TWPs
  • Topics stem from key aspects of WRM (cont.)
  • Please explain the containment policy of the United States during the Cold War (describe the idea, the US
  • strategy, the most important events).

23. Please explain the containment policy of the United States during the Cold War!

  • meaning of containment and the Long Telegram
  • institutionalization of the Cold War (Truman doctrine, Marshall Plan, NATO, Warsaw Pact)
  • nuclear deterrence and the US strategies (mass retaliation, flexible response, missile defense)
  • the Soviet Union in the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s and 1980s
  • briefly summarize the most important events (Berlin crisis, Suez and the Hungarian revolution, Cuban
  • missile crisis, détente and the Helsinki Process, opening to China; the high level talks of the 1980s)




1.    Clouds are formed by water droplets, snow- and ice flakes. How can they stay at high altitudes, why clouds do not drop down to the ground?

2.    How would you characterize the flood wave period of a creek?

3.    Patterns of international water conflicts, legal and institutional solutions

  • incl. the importance of dams
  • ecological services, indoctrination and securitisation, 
  • hydro hegemony, also commercialisation,
  • tools, principles and challenges of international water law

4.    Management of water and environmental conflicts on national level

  • incl. typical patterns of conflicts,
  • general conflict theories
  • specific theories on environmental conflicts

5.    Comparison of interpersonal and group communication

  • including goals, functions, factors of successful communication,
  • the concept of emerging qualities as higher-level systems are formed

6.    Mass communication and Internet communication

  • incl. comparison of the conventional media and the interactive SNSs,
  • political and economic aspects)

7.    The evolution of EU water law from the early pollution directives to the Water Framework Directive.

  • phases of EU water law development
  • outline of the Urban Waste Water Directive and the Drinking Water Directive
  • outline of the Water Framework Directive

8.    Surface water quality management under EU water law

  • the system of surface water protection under the Water Framework Directive (general objectives, good water
  • status and exemptions (Art. 4), River Basin Development Plan, programme of measures) 
  • the Priority Substances Directive 
  • the Urban Waste Water Directive

9.    What is the role of institutions for international water governance in dealing with hydro-political resilience / hydro-political vulnerability?

10. Explain the institutional typology of international water governance.

11. Water as a key issue for UN Agencies and Programs. The post-2018 World Water Development reports.

  • Ecological and economic roles of water
  • UN agencies and programs depending on different aspects of access to water
  • UN Water: a co-ordination platform
  • The main themes and key conclusions of the post-2018 UN World Water Development Reports 

12. Water as a horizontal and vertical issue in the UN Sustainable Development Goals system

  • UN sustainability efforts before 2012
  • water in the Millennium Development Goals
  • SDG6 and SDG 15
  • the causal connections of SDG6 targets to other targets of the SDG system

13. Describe the history of transboundary water cooperation in the Danube Basin

  • Danube is a keystone in negotiating peace
  • The European Commission of the Danube
  • Belgrade Conference
  • Water quality issue
  • Bucharest declaration
  • Geopolitical cahnges in 1980-1990’s
  • Environmental programme for the Danube River Basin
  • Strategic Action Plan

14. What are the main challenges of transboundary water cooperation in the Danube Basin?

  • a keystone in negotiation peace
  • Hydrological, environmental, socio-economic diversity
  • Economic development etc

15. What are the key features of the “Convention regarding the regime of navigation on the Danube” (“Belgrade Convention”) and the main functions of the Danube Commission stemming from the „Belgrad Convention”?

  • Principles
  • Obligations of the Danube States
  • Functions of the Danube commission
  • Legal capacity of the Danube commission

16. What are the key features of the “Convention on Cooperation for the Protection and Sustainable Use of the Danube River” (“Sofia Convention”) and the main functions of the ICPDR stemming from the “Sofia Convention”?

  • Convention on cooperation for Protection
  • Countries
  • Goal
  • Objectives
  • Principles behind measures
  • Implementing body
  • Legal capacity ICPDR
  • Water balance, quantity
  • Water quality and quantity of management

17. Choose one mainstream theory of international relations and explain it through a recent event/decision in international politics

  • Choose one mainstream theory and explain the basics assumptions related to the theory (Realism, Liberalism, Constructivism):
    • evolution of the theory
    • What does the theory say about: states, international relations, and the international system?
    • What is the central motivation behind international relations (eg. power, security, cooperation, beliefs)?
  • Be prepared to explain a recent international event (eg. the war in Ukraine)
    • (very) short description of the event
    • explain the event according to the chosen theory:
      • drivers of the event (what caused it)
      • main actors
      • main goals
      • possible solutions and consequences

18. Describe the significance of water conflicts in the 21st century based on a freely chosen armed conflict.

 19. Describe the concept of protected objects and the cases of termination of protection.

 20. Describe the importance of water in the historical armed conflicts and crises of the Middle East.

 21. Describe the elements of the crime of nature damage (Article 242 of the Criminal Code) and the qualified cases of the crime of nature damage.

 22. What is “active listening”? How do you exercise it (describe in detail the process, actions, reactions)? And what are its advantages in a conflict management process?

 23. What are your options if in a negotiation process you are in a weak position? Try to think of several options that you can develop and use progressively and the process advances.

  • What can you do ahead of the process?
  • What can you do during the process when you have identified all the players and their interests?

24. How can River Basin Organizations contribute to cooperation among States sharing the same river? 

  • What is their basic role? 
  • What would be your recommendations for such institutions if they had to make a contribution beyond water per se towards broader peace building actions?


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