Contested Knowledges

Water Conflicts on Large Dams and Mega-Hydraulic Development

Edited by
May 2019
240 pages
  • ISBN978-3-03897-810-7 (Paperback)
  • ISBN978-3-03897-811-4 (PDF)

This book is a reprint of the Special Issue Contested Knowledges: Water Conflicts on Large Dams and Mega- Hydraulic Development that was published in

Biology & Life Sciences
Chemistry & Materials Science
Environmental & Earth Sciences
Public Health & Healthcare

Water acquisition, storage, allocation and distribution are intensely contested in our society, whether, for instance, such issues pertain to a conflict between upstream and downstream farmers located on a small stream or to a large dam located on the border of two nations. Water conflicts are mostly studied as disputes around access to water resources or the formulation of water laws and governance rules. However, explicitly or not, water conflicts nearly always also involve disputes among different philosophical views. The contributions to this edited volume have looked at the politics of contested knowledge as manifested in the conceptualisation, design, development, implementation and governance of large dams and mega-hydraulic infrastructure projects in various parts of the world. The special issue has explored the following core questions: Which philosophies and claims on mega-hydraulic projects are encountered, and how are they shaped, validated, negotiated and contested in concrete contexts? Whose knowledge counts and whose knowledge is downplayed in water development conflict situations, and how have different epistemic communities and cultural-political identities shaped practices of design, planning and construction of dams and mega-hydraulic projects? The contributions have also scrutinised how these epistemic communities interactively shape norms, rules, beliefs and values about water problems and solutions, including notions of justice, citizenship and progress that are subsequently to become embedded in material artefacts.

  • Paperback
© 2019 by the authors; CC BY-NC-ND licence
hydroelectric development; hydropower; dam; indigenous peoples; first nations; Canada; Site C; British Columbia; environmental impacts; socio-economic impacts; hydropower; Mekong River Basin; political ecology; STS; public knowledge controversies; large dams; dam safety; hazard risk; environmental governance; uncertainty; knowledge politics; marginalization; political ecology; Himalayas; India; hydropower development; politicized collective identity; territory; collective action; agonistic unity; vernacular statecraft; Dzumsa; North Sikkim; hydrosocial territory; knowledge encounters; hydraulic utopia; modernity; commensuration; anti-dam movement; Málaga; Spain; hiding hand; A.O. Hirschman; irrigation; hydraulic projects; San Lorenzo irrigation project; Chixoy irrigation project; Peru; Guatemala; megadams; social construction of technology; politics of the governed; anti-dam resistance movements; technological design; contested knowledge; Ecuador; expectations; hydroelectric megaprojects; socio-technical imaginaries; Ecuador; energy policy; large dams; socioenvironmental impacts; compensation measures; knowledge systems; commensuration; negotiation; territorial control; Bolivia; Jacques Lacan; psychoanalysis; fantasy; mega-dam; Inga; DR Congo; hydropolitics; mega-hydraulic projects; modernist traditions; knowledge arenas; manufactured ignorance; depoliticization; UnGovernance; dehumanizing rationality; multi-actor multi-scalar alliances; co-creation; power; n/a