Regionalism, Identity, and Hydropower Dams: The Chinese-Built Lower Sesan 2 Dam in Cambodia

Hensengerth, Oliver (2017) Regionalism, Identity, and Hydropower Dams: The Chinese-Built Lower Sesan 2 Dam in Cambodia. Journal of Current Chinese Affairs, 46 (3). ISSN 1868-1026

Text (Full text)
Hensengerth - Regionalism, identity, and hydropower dams OA.pdf - Published Version

Download (236kB) | Preview
Official URL:


The Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) has been styled as a natural region drawn together by the Mekong River. However, the literature on regional identity has argued that regions are socially constructed phenomena. River basins in particular are historically evolved constructs of specific political and social relations. Drawing on concepts of regional identity and on the literature examining the links between culture and water, the article argues that the actors driving the GMS have exacerbated social tensions through hydropower programmes, thus failing to establish social coherence. These programmes focus on energy production for national economic growth and economic integration between GMS countries, but they ignore the need to govern water resources for the benefit of local communities, many of which are made up of ethnic minorities with specific cultural attachments to the river. This produces tensions around the type of development that takes place in the GMS, leading to value fragmentation rather than value convergence. The article explores these issues by focusing on the Chinese-built Lower Sesan 2 Dam in Cambodia.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Chinese hydropower dams, Identity, Lower Sesan 2, Mekong, Regionalism, Water and culture, Water governance
Subjects: K400 Planning (Urban, Rural and Regional)
L700 Human and Social Geography
Department: Faculties > Arts, Design and Social Sciences > Social Sciences
Depositing User: Paul Burns
Date Deposited: 29 Nov 2018 15:03
Last Modified: 11 Oct 2019 18:07

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics