Major Department

Political Science


College of Liberal Arts & Sciences


BS (Bachelor of Science)

Session and Year of Graduation

Spring 2017

Honors Major Advisor

Martha Kirby

Thesis Mentor

Nicholas Grossman


Contemporaneous global demographic, environmental, and economic trends have elevated water issues to the fore of human rights and national security debates. Ipso facto, a profusion of research has attempted to explicate water insecurity causes and effects. This article examines the foremost theoretical explanations, data, and discrepancies. It then proposes and quantitatively tests a more parsimonious and evidentially coherent state bureaucratic capacity theory of water security. The results support the proposed theory and reveal three significant conclusions. Times series analyses reveal mixed-type regimes produce reduced water security compared to autocracies and democracies, with closed anocracies performing worst; this finding persists when controlling economic development, political violence, and endemic natural freshwater resources. Higher state bureaucratic capacity produces greater water security. Lastly, improvements in bureaucratic capacity most positively affect civilian access to potable water in anocratic regimes. These findings suggest a reassessment of development and humanitarian aid efforts and redirection towards government administrative capacity building.


Global, Water Security, Bureaucratic Capacity, Water Management, Regime Type, Anocracy

Total Pages

42 pages


Copyright © 2017 Seth William Howard

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.