Water Governance in the Mekong Basin: Scalar Tradeoffs, Transnational Norms and Chinese Hydropower Investment

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

Abstract

The increasing activity of Chinese hydropower companies in countries along the Mekong River has raised issues of environmental and social sustainability of Chinese investment. Hydropower investment regularly produces scalar conflicts between global goals of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, national development targets, and the impact on local communities and ecosystems. Norms governing these areas can be observed on multiple levels of governance. Global norms are contained, inter alia, in the Equator Principles and the World Commission on Dams (WCD) recommendations. Domestic Chinese norms are contained in the Chinese government’s overseas investment policies and company-internal environmental regulations. A further level of norms is codified in laws in countries where Chinese companies invest. Chinese companies thus operate not only at a multi-level, but also in a transnational normative space. The paper will locate Chinese hydropower investment projects at the cross lines of these norms and analyze processes that contribute to scalar conflicts.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationChinese Encounters in Southeast Asia: How People, Money, and Ideas from China Are Changing a Region
EditorsPál Nyíri, Danielle Tan
Place of PublicationSeattle
PublisherUniversity of Washington Press
Number of pages319
ISBN (Print)9780295999296
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2017

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