Next Article in Journal / Special Issue
Negotiating Water and Technology—Competing Expectations and Confronting Knowledges in the Case of the Coca Codo Sinclair in Ecuador
Previous Article in Journal
Design and Optimization of a Fully-Penetrating Riverbank Filtration Well Scheme at a Fully-Penetrating River Based on Analytical Methods
Previous Article in Special Issue
What Hirschman’s Hiding Hand Hid in San Lorenzo and Chixoy
Article Menu
Issue 3 (March) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessArticle

Hydraulic Order and the Politics of the Governed: The Baba Dam in Coastal Ecuador

1
Centre for Latin American Research and Documentation (CEDLA), University of Amsterdam, Roetersstraat 33, 1018 WB Amsterdam, The Netherlands
2
Faculty of Agricultural Sciences, Universidad Central del Ecuador, Ciudadela Universitaria, 170129 Quito, Ecuador
3
Water Resources Management Group, Department of Environmental Sciences, Wageningen University, P.O. Box 47, 6700 AA Wageningen, The Netherlands
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2019, 11(3), 409; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11030409
Received: 2 July 2018 / Revised: 24 August 2018 / Accepted: 3 January 2019 / Published: 26 February 2019
  |  
PDF [3698 KB, uploaded 4 March 2019]
  |  

Abstract

Mega-dams are commonly designed, constructed, and implemented under governors’ rule and technocrats’ knowledge. Such hydraulic infrastructures are characteristically presented as if based on monolithic technical consensus and unidirectional engineering. However, those who are affected by these water interventions, and eventually governed by the changes brought by them, often dispute the forms of knowledge, norms, morals, and operation and use rules embedded in mega-hydraulic engineers’ designs. Protests may also deeply influence the design and development of the technological artifacts. By using approaches related to the Social Construction of Technology and Partha Chatterjee’s politics of the governed, this article shows (i) how protests against the Baba dam in coastal Ecuador greatly influenced the dam’s designs, protecting communities’ lands from being flooded; and (ii) how, at the same time, techno-political decision-makers deployed hydraulic design as a dividing rule, turning potentially affected communities against each other. We conclude that megadam designs are shaped by the power interplay among governors and governed, with the latter being internally differentiated. By critically analyzing the role of technology development—materializing changing ‘political context and relationships’—we show how contested and adapted dam design may favor some stakeholders while simultaneously affecting others and weakening united dam-resistance movements. View Full-Text
Keywords: megadams; social construction of technology; politics of the governed; anti-dam resistance movements; technological design; contested knowledge; Ecuador megadams; social construction of technology; politics of the governed; anti-dam resistance movements; technological design; contested knowledge; Ecuador
Figures

Figure 1

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
SciFeed
Printed Edition Available!
A printed edition of this Special Issue is available here.

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Hidalgo-Bastidas, J.P.; Boelens, R. Hydraulic Order and the Politics of the Governed: The Baba Dam in Coastal Ecuador. Water 2019, 11, 409.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics

1

Comments

[Return to top]
Water EISSN 2073-4441 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top