Damned by Dams: Artefacts of Modernization and Conflicts of Transformation

Duisburg - 26–27 October 2017

Large-scale hydroelectric dams are at the centre of deep social, political and environmental conflicts. On the one hand, they stand for low-carbon energy production and economic development. On the other hand, they represent massive interventions into ecosystems and very often affect the rights of the most marginalized populations who hardly have a say in the processes of planning and construction. Across the globe, there are both striking similarities and interesting differences between various big dam projects. Conflicts often emerge from cooperation challenges: Between for-profit and not-for-profit agents, between international actors, and national or local organizations, and between various groups within states. This workshop addressed questions of conflict and cooperation in hydroelectric dam projects in the context of transformation processes. It combined a variety of disciplines and geographical perspectives, including case studies from China, Japan, Mongolia, Canada, Brazil, Panama, Egypt, Ethiopia and Spain.

Workshop conveners: Andrea Schapper, University of Stirling, UK, Christian Scheper, Institute for Development and Peace, and Christine Unrau, Centre for Global Cooperation Research, both University of Duisburg-Essen.

Venue: Gerhard Mercator Haus, Lotharstraße, University of Duisburg-Essen