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.
We provide a disciplinary and multidisciplinary research programme aimed at advanced understanding of environmental problems and advanced training of PhD candidates in this field.