Water, Rivers and Dams

TitleWater, Rivers and Dams
Annotated RecordNot Annotated
Year of Publication2017
Secondary AuthorsHirsch
Secondary TitleRoutledge Handbook of the Environment in Southeast Asia
SectionChapter 13
Place PublishedLondon and New York
Key themesEcology and Livelihoods, Hydropower, Transboundary Governance

This chapter explores the politics of water resources, with a particular focus on hydropower development on the transboundary rivers of mainland southeast Asia. The chapter highlights the ecological and social changes that have already occurred, that are under way and that may result from increasingly extensive hydropower construction, as the region transitions from a stat-led to increasingly liberalized market-oriented political economy. It shows how increasingly fulfilled plans for hydropower development in Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar for cross-border electricity trade and domestic consumption intersect with the politics of both water resources and electricity planning. It also highlights the implications for transparency and accountability of decision-making of the growing role of private-sector foreign direct investment in hydropower dam construction and operation. It argues that the growing role of the private sector in hydropower development on transboundary rivers is redefining how national interests is formulated and negotiated between riparian governments.


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Cambodia, China, Laos, Myanmar, Regional, Thailand, Vietnam

Document Type

Book Chapter

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