The Mekong Basin is home to some 70 million people, for whom this great river is a source of livelihoods, the basis for their ecosystems and a foundation of their economies. But the Mekong is also currently undergoing enormous social, economic, and ecological change of which hydropower development is a significant driver. This book provides a basin-wide analysis of political, socio-economic and environmental perspectives of hydropower development in the Mekong Basin. It includes chapters from China, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. 

Written by regional experts from some of the region's leading research institutions, the book provides an holistic analysis of the shifting socio-political contexts within which hydropower is framed, legitimised and executed. Drawing heavily on political ecologies and political economics to examine the economic, social, political and ecological drivers of hydropower, the book's basin wide approach illuminates how hydropower development, and its benefits and impacts, are linked multilaterally across the basin. 

The research in the book is derived from empirical research conducted from 2012-2013 as part of the CGIAR Challenge Program on Water and Food's Mekong programme.

chapter 1|16 pages

On dams, demons and development

The political intrigues of hydropower development in the Mekong
ByNathanial Matthews, Kim Geheb

chapter 2|15 pages

Framing a political ecology of Mekong Basin hydropower development

ByNathanial Matthews, Kim Geheb

chapter 3|22 pages

A political ecology of hydropower development in China

ByZha Daojiong

chapter 4|29 pages

From Manwan to Nuozhadu

The political ecology of hydropower on China's Lancang River
ByXing Lyu

chapter 5|18 pages

From Pak Mun to Xayaburi

The backwater and spillover of Thailand's hydropower politics
ByJakkrit Sangkhamanee

chapter 6|26 pages

The invisible dam

Hydropower and its narration in the Lao People's Democratic Republic
ByKim Geheb, Niki West, Nathanial Matthews

chapter 7|26 pages

Whose risky business?

Public–private partnerships, build-operate-transfer and large hydropower dams in the Mekong Region
ByCarl Middleton, Nathanial Matthews, Naho Mirumachi

chapter 8|20 pages

The politics of the Lower Sesan 2 Dam in Cambodia

ByKimkong Ham, Samchan Hay, Thea Sok

chapter 9|25 pages

Rethinking development narratives on hydropower in Vietnam

ByNga Dao, Bui Lien Phuong