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Dams and Development: Transnational Struggles for Water and Power

Sanjeev Khagram (Author)
Synopsis Big dams built for irrigation, power, and water supply, have been the most potent symbols of economic development for much of the twentieth century. Of late, however, they have come to be regarded as something planned with scant regard for environmental and social consequences especially for the populations that are displaced as their homelands are flooded. The book traces changing ideas and practices of what constitutes appropriate development through the shifting transnational dynamics of big dam construction. The author tells the story of a growing, but contentious world society that features novel and increasingly efficacious norms of appropriate behaviour in areas such as human rights and environmental protection. The transnational coalitions and networks led by non-governmental groups that espouse such norms may seek weak in comparison with states, corporations, and international agencies. Yet they have become progressively more effective at altering the policies and practices of these historically more powerful actors and organizations from the 1970s onwards. Khagram develops these claims in a detailed ethnographic account of the transnational struggles around the Narmada River Valley Dam Projects--a huge complex of thirty large and more than three thousand small dams. He offers further substantiation through a comparative historical analysis of the political economy of big dam projects in India, Brazil, South Africa, and China as well as by examining the changing behavior of international agencies and global companies. The author concludes with a discussion on the World Commission on dams--an innovative attempt in the late 1990s to generate new norms among conflicting stakeholders. This book will be of interest to environmentalists, sociologists, political scientists, researchers on environment and development, social ecologists, in addition to policy planners.
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Bibliographic information

Title Dams and Development: Transnational Struggles for Water and Power
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.2005
Edition Reprint
Language: English
isbn 0195671333
length xi+270p., Illustrations; 23cm.