The Evolution of Water Law Through 4,000 Years
Forthcoming book "Sovereignty and the Development of International Water Law"
25 Pages Posted: 15 May 2013
Date Written: Spring 2013
This chapter presents an overview of global trends in water law through history. It begins with a brief examination of the idea of "law," and follows with a description of the earliest recorded forms of water law. Water law through the centuries has conformed to a limited set of patterns, in part as a response to the characteristics of the resource and in part because of the migration of water law systems from society to society and continent to continent. The chapter then summarily traces the evolution and characteristics of national, supranational, and international water law, how they are related, and where they might be headed. This provides a grounding for other chapters focusing on particular aspects of the history of sovereignty and water law.
Keywords: ancient law, colonialism, environmentalism, epistemic communities, global empires, international law, law, legal pluralism, social change, sovereignty, water history, water law
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