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Asia Europe Journal

, Volume 6, Issue 2, pp 325–343 | Cite as

Southeast Asian water conflicts—from a political geography perspective

  • Yvonne Klöpper
Original Paper

Abstract

This article analyzes water-related conflicts in Southeast Asia and draws the attention to controversial dam—and hydropower—schemes. It focuses on three dam projects in Thailand, Laos and Burma that are all interwoven by different characteristics of development assistance. But they also slightly differ in terms of the implementation stage, the geopolitical setting, the socio-economical frameworks and the actors involved. Against this analytical background, the approach unveils the complexity of internationalising conflicts that are created under the influence of the ongoing globalisation and by multiple actors involved, their networks, strategies and power relations. “Scarcity of resources—securing energy by development assistance” provides a brief introduction by drawing the main global configurations. “Energy supply and poverty alleviation—new dams in Southeast Asia” zooms in on the specific stage by mirroring dam disputes in Southeast Asia (SEA). Based on these fundamentals, in “Different dams—diverse actors and conflict potentials” the case studies are reconstructed to highlight the multiplicity of dam-projects and inherent controversies. “Conclusion—new conflict frameworks require new instruments of dispute resolution” offers an outlook on conceptual ideas on how to deal with future dam disputes under the auspices of development assistance.

Keywords

Dispute Resolution Poverty Alleviation Development Assistance Diverse Actor Asian Development Bank 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Abbreviations

ADB

Asian Development Bank

APMDM

Anti-Pak Mun Dam Movement

AOP

Assembly of the Poor

DA

Development Assistance

Egat

Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand

ERI

EarthRights International

GoL

Government of Laos

IRN

International Rivers Network

LDC

Less/ Least Developed Country

MRC

Mekong River Commission

MW

Megawatt(s)

NGO(s)

Non Governmental Organisation(s)

NT2

Nam Theun 2 Dam

NTPC

Nam Theun 2 Power Company Ltd.

SEA

Southeast Asia

SEARIN

Southeast Asia Rivers Network

SWC

Salween Watch Coalition

TERRA

Towards Ecological Recovery and Regional Alliance

WCD

World Commission on Dams

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Political and Social Geography, Prof. ReuberUniversity of MünsterMünsterGermany
  2. 2.BerlinGermany

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