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In this session, we discuss papers that examine what the global turn to infrastructure means, both empirically and theoretically, for analysing the environmental consequences of infrastructure-led development.
As climate change accelerates to become the defining development issue of the twenty first century, there is simultaneously a global turn to infrastructure (Dodson 2017) that promotes infrastructure-led development as necessary for ensuring growth-led sustainable development. Plans for new infrastructure in the Amazon, for example, include new highways, waterways, railways, ports, dams, and power stations (Bebbington et al 2020). Within social science, an infrastructural turn has brought changes to contemporary conceptualisations of infrastructure that go beyond physical materiality to examine infrastructures as a manifestation of social and technological processes (Lemanski 2019:3; Larkin 2013; Von Schnitzler 2008), revealing how infrastructure is implicated in citizenship (Lemanski 2020), post-colonial politics (Cowen 2019; Enns & Bersaglio 2020), authoritarian developmentalism (Arsel et al. forthcoming), and political ecology (Anand 2017; Bebbington 2020; Hope forthcoming).
In this session, we discuss papers that examine what this turn to infrastructure means, both empirically and theoretically, for understanding and analysing the environmental consequences of infrastructure-led development.