News from the Centre

Call for Papers: Damned by Dams — Artefacts of Modernization and Conflicts of Transformation

07.02.2017 Since their inception, large-scale hydroelectric dams have been controversially debated. On the one hand, they represent ideas of climate change mitigation, low-carbon energy production and economic development. On the other hand, they have continuously been at the centre of various political, social and cultural conflicts based on contradictory objectives, interests and strategies. Against this background, the Käte Hamburger Kolleg/Centre for Global Cooperation Research is going to conduct a workshop that will address a variety of challenges around conflict and cooperation in hydroelectric dam projects. These challenges are linked to bigger questions of the twenty-first century, such as development, climate justice, the interaction of global and local institutions, and the role of corporations in the governance of the world.

The workshop is convened by Andrea Schapper (University of Stirling, Stirling, UK), Christian Scheper (Institute for Development and Peace, University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany) and Christine Unrau (Head of Research Unit 2 of the Centre) and will take place on 26th and 27th October 2017 at the University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany. It will particularly reflect on the different conflicts of modernization and transformation that emerge in the context of these large-scale development projects and how these can possibly be addressed from a comparative and interdisciplinary perspective. The Centre therefore is welcoming contributions from various disciplinary backgrounds.

Possible questions include, but are not limited to the following:

  • What are contemporary practices and politics of large-scale dam projects?
  • Which conflicting values, visions, interests, relations of power and challenges of cooperation are related to them?
  • How can we understand dams in terms of their 'material politics' but also as representations of wider contradictions related to capitalist development and discourses of modernity?
  • What are possible alternatives to large-scale hydroelectric dam projects?
  • How can hydroelectric dam projects be planned and implemented in a more participatory way, respecting the rights and livelihoods of affected groups and actors, such as indigenous peoples and at the same time protecting delicate ecosystems and biodiversity?
  • In which way can we resolve resource conflicts that emerge in the context of large-scale hydroelectric dams?

We particularly welcome papers that have their empirical basis in field research on one of the large-scale hydroelectric dam projects around the world, such as Narmada in India, Belo Monte in Brazil, Gibe III in Ethiopia or Itoiz in Spain.
For participation in the workshop, an abstract of no more than 500 words until 30 March 2017 is required.

For detailed information and the application procedure, please download the Call for Papers.

Call for Papers