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Hydropower, Nationalism, and Foreign Expertise in Africa and Asia

Thu, March 30, 10:30am to 12:00pm, The Drake Hotel, Astor

Session Submission Type: Panel

Abstract

In the early twentieth century, state actors around the world came to envision major rivers within their borders as dynamos of hydroelectric energy. Particularly in less developed countries, government elites made massive dams central to national industrialization, despite a shortage of domestic resources to realize their national dreams. This panel seeks to understand how different countries have navigated the often fraught relationship between national dam-building projects and the reliance on foreign expertise, especially since the 1950s. The four papers in this panel range widely in geographical focus, from the mountains of Tajikistan and China to the Nile and Volta river basins in Africa. Yet each explores the connection between national or local aspirations and foreign actors in large-scale dam-building projects.

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