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Ecologies of Rule and Resistance: Making Knowledge, Borders and Environmental Governance at the Salween River, Thailand

Ecologies of Rule and Resistance: Making Knowledge, Borders and Environmental Governance at the Salween River, Thailand

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Title: Ecologies of Rule and Resistance: Making Knowledge, Borders and Environmental Governance at the Salween River, Thailand
Author: Lamb, Vanessa Ann
Abstract: This dissertation examines the making and mobilizing of ecological knowledge at the Salween River as part of the Himalayan Uplands in Southeast Asia. The profusion of interest in “knowing” this river has captured local and international attention, particularly in the context of regional energy development. Plans have been made for 16 large dams along the Salween, the longest free flowing river in Southeast Asia. I examine the unfolding processes of planning and governance of the first dam to go ahead, the Hatgyi hydroelectric project. My research questions query how ecological knowledges are made, and by whom, and how they circulate in the context of cross-border dam development and with what implications for ecologies, residents, and governance. My approach to addressing these questions brings together work in political ecology, political geography, science studies, and area studies. I focus on the ways that political geographical concepts including territories, nations, and political borders are made through – and even require – the practices and performances of residents in their everyday life. This includes the efforts to produce ecological knowledge.
In addressing my research questions, I specifically argue that residents play significant roles alongside institutions to make and remake the conditions for development, and are as much involved in producing environmental rule as they are in producing the more expected projects of resistance. This runs in contrast to analyses which envision residents and local resistance subsumed in development projects. It also contributes to literature on the study of upland minority groups, whose residents and ecologies are described as “peripheral” or even as “evading” states. While residents at the Salween are highlighted within this study, I also emphasize the roles and practices of a variety of other actors including environmental consultants, government officials, and activists.
Subject: Geography
Environmental studies
Asian studies
Keywords: Environmental governance
Political ecology
Political geography
Human environment geography
Nature
Society
Geography
Science and technology studies
Ecological knowledge
Southeast Asia
Thailand
Borders
Salween River
Type: Electronic Thesis or Dissertation
Rights: Author owns copyright, except where explicitly noted. Please contact the author directly with licensing requests.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10315/27611
Supervisor: Vandergeest, Peter
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Program: Geography
Exam date: 2014-01-06
Publish on: 2014-07-09

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