Botagoz Sharipova

PhD Candidate


Bota Sharipova is from Kazakhstan and since 2011 she has been involved in a wide range of the water-related transboundary projects in the Aral Sea Basin in Central Asia. During the period of 2011-2017 she worked for the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea (IFAS) and during 2017-2018 for the Natural Resources Institute at the German-Kazakh University (GKU). With the background in International Relations, she graduated with a Master’s degree in Integrated Water Resources Management in 2016 from GKU, and in 2020 with Water Cooperation and Diplomacy Joint Master’s degrees from the University for Peace (Costa Rica), the IHE-Delft Institute for Water Education (the Netherlands) and the Oregon State University (US). In the period of 2019-2021 she worked as a Consultant for youth mobilization in Central Asia for the International Secretariat for Water (ISW), as a Consultant on systemic water education in Central Asia of the Blue Peace Central Asia initiative of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), and as a Research Fellow on water governance and climate change of the Green Central Asia initiative, under supervision of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Research (PIK) and GKU.

Starting from 1 March, 2021 Bota joined Water Governance Department at IHE-Delft as Doctoral Candidate in Water Conflict, Cooperation, and Diplomacy. Along with her PhD research Bota is involved in the implementation of the projects of the Department in the field of Water Cooperation and Diplomacy. 

Research Summary

The main aim of Bota's research is to understand the role of trust, mistrust, and trustworthiness in transboundary water cooperation and conflict. In particular, she tries to understand how can trust and mistrust in interstate relations be conceptualized and measured, how are trust and mistrust manifested through various levels and domains, and what are the sources of trust and mistrust in transboundary water cooperation and conflict between newly independent states. Besides, she is interested in studying how trust at the interpersonal level influences trust on the levels between organizations and between newly independent states, and what is the role of trust in interstate relations in the different stages of cooperation. She empirically anchors theoretical discussions and findings to case studies of the Aral Sea Basin, Sava River Basin, and Lake Peipsi. The riparian countries of these basins became independent comparatively recently - after collapsing of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Therefore, Bota tries to investigate how the process of state-building in these newly independent states characterized by drastic changes in political, social, economic, cultural areas affected trust in water cooperation and conflict dynamics.


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