Dams, development & decision-making
Pon Souvannaseng (University of Manchester)
David Hulme (University of Manchester)
Filippo Menga (University of Reading)
Acting on Climate change and the environment
Christodoulou Meeting Rooms East, Room 11
Wednesday 19 June, 15:30-17:00, 17:30-19:00 (UTC+0)

Short abstract:

This innovative paper panel,convened by the FutureDAMS consortium,will bring together biophysical and social scientific research to analyse the global phenomenon of hydro-infrastructure expansion and examine how it can be made more environmentally, socially and economically just and sustainable.

Long abstract:

Large scale hydro-projects were the cornerstone of international development in the early post-war decades and epitomized high modernist national development campaigns in the global 'north' and 'south', driven by the Bretton Woods regime. With 'new' sources of finance, actors and drivers, large-scale infrastructure projects have returned in the 21st century; more than 3700 large dams are under construction or being planned in the developing world. This panel, convened by the GCRF FutureD.A.M.S. consortium (www.futuredams.org), offers a forum to bring together biophysical and social scientific research to open up development thinking around the global resurgence in hydro-infrastructure expansion and discuss ways to achieve more just and sustainable practices. In particular, we welcome contributions which explore:

- The food-energy-water nexus linked to megaprojects (i.e. their impact on patterns of cross-national migration, ecology, hydrology, agrarian studies)

- Innovative integrated and cross-disciplinary approaches to mega-system analysis (integrated assessment, development engineering, social scientific and biophysical approaches)

- Socio-environmental ex-ante and ex-post impacts (ecology; hydrological and climate science; resettlement; benefit sharing)

- Increasing cross-national flows in finance, machinery, technology, goods and people, which have enabled the transnational hydro-energy boom

- How decisions about water management interventions are taken (politics of mega-projects; populist dimensions; spaces for political action and counter-movement; role of authoritarian and modernist ideologies)

Spanning 3 paper panel sessions, it is envisaged that panel papers may form a special issue in outlets such as World Development or Development & Change from the proceedings.