De-marginalizing the Mekong River Commission

TitleDe-marginalizing the Mekong River Commission
Annotated RecordNot Annotated
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsDore, Lazarus
Secondary AuthorsMolle, Foran, Käkönen
Secondary TitleContested Waterscapes in the Mekong Region
Place PublishedLondon, Sterlin, VA
Key themesHydropower, Impact Assessment, Transboundary Governance

The Mekong River Commission (MRC) is mandated to engage in water resources development in the so-called ‘Lower’ Mekong part of the region – the Mekong River Basin in Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam. Different people call on the MRC to be a social and environmental guardian of the basin; a platform for information exchange; a knowledge producer, synthesizer and broker; an investment facilitator; and convenor of multi-stakeholder processes demonstrating high-quality deliberative practice. Can it play all these roles simultaneously? Since 1995, the MRC (and its predecessors since the 1950s) has been and remains the focus of substantial organization-building efforts. During recent years, the MRC has received much attention from people intent on using, improving, empowering or criticizing it. This chapter reflects on the practice and potential of the MRC at a time when all Mekong region governments need to make informed decisions about whether, or how, to proceed with major projects that will have dramatic, transformative, national and transboundary impacts.


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Cambodia, China, Laos, Regional, Thailand, Vietnam

Document Type

Book Chapter

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