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Political Structure and Dam Conflicts: Comparing Cases in Southeast Asia

Ang, Ming Chee LU and Swain, Ashok (2004) World Water Council 4th World Water Forum In [Host publication title missing] p.95-114
Abstract
This paper argues that different political structures use different conflict management

mechanisms to manage opposition to large hydro projects. Conflicts over the Pak Mun Dam,

Thailand (a liberal democracy), and the Bakun Dam, Malaysia (a semi-authoritarian state),

are the cases selected for comparison. The export oriented, fast industrialization process

brought rapid development in these two countries. Large-scale water development projects,

particularly big dams, have been constructed to meet an increasing demand for energy.

However, these hydroelectric projects have been the source of conflict between the policy

maker and the public. Though the countries face similar... (More)
This paper argues that different political structures use different conflict management

mechanisms to manage opposition to large hydro projects. Conflicts over the Pak Mun Dam,

Thailand (a liberal democracy), and the Bakun Dam, Malaysia (a semi-authoritarian state),

are the cases selected for comparison. The export oriented, fast industrialization process

brought rapid development in these two countries. Large-scale water development projects,

particularly big dams, have been constructed to meet an increasing demand for energy.

However, these hydroelectric projects have been the source of conflict between the policy

maker and the public. Though the countries face similar conflict situations, the regime’s

conflict management responses significantly differ from each other.

The paper finds that the political design of the liberal democratic country allows better public

participation in the management of ‘dam’ conflicts. In contrast, the authoritarian regime reacts

with a more oppressive approach to prevent escalation of the opposition against dam

building. A non-democratic regime is thus more effective in the implementation of policy

decisions to build big dams through its suppressive methods. Suppressive action may force

reconciliation of the conflict at the surface level, but it neither addresses the root of the

problem nor helps to secure benefits for the majority. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
publishing date
type
Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceeding
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Dam Conflicts, Southeast Asia, Liberal democracy, Semi-authoritarian, Pak Mun Dam, Thailand, Bakun Dam, Malaysia, Conflict Management.
in
[Host publication title missing]
editor
WWC, World Water Council
pages
20 pages
publisher
The World Water Council
conference name
World Water Council 4th World Water Forum
ISBN
92-95017-09-9
language
English
LU publication?
no
id
b391b16b-7d97-4b04-b30c-6fa9ee38343c (old id 4353962)
alternative location
http://www.worldwatercouncil.org/fileadmin/wwc/Library/Publications_and_reports/Proceedings_Water_Politics/proceedings_waterpol_pp.95-114.pdf
date added to LUP
2014-03-18 14:25:45
date last changed
2016-06-29 08:56:02
@misc{b391b16b-7d97-4b04-b30c-6fa9ee38343c,
  abstract     = {This paper argues that different political structures use different conflict management<br/><br>
mechanisms to manage opposition to large hydro projects. Conflicts over the Pak Mun Dam,<br/><br>
Thailand (a liberal democracy), and the Bakun Dam, Malaysia (a semi-authoritarian state),<br/><br>
are the cases selected for comparison. The export oriented, fast industrialization process<br/><br>
brought rapid development in these two countries. Large-scale water development projects,<br/><br>
particularly big dams, have been constructed to meet an increasing demand for energy.<br/><br>
However, these hydroelectric projects have been the source of conflict between the policy<br/><br>
maker and the public. Though the countries face similar conflict situations, the regime’s<br/><br>
conflict management responses significantly differ from each other.<br/><br>
The paper finds that the political design of the liberal democratic country allows better public<br/><br>
participation in the management of ‘dam’ conflicts. In contrast, the authoritarian regime reacts<br/><br>
with a more oppressive approach to prevent escalation of the opposition against dam<br/><br>
building. A non-democratic regime is thus more effective in the implementation of policy<br/><br>
decisions to build big dams through its suppressive methods. Suppressive action may force<br/><br>
reconciliation of the conflict at the surface level, but it neither addresses the root of the<br/><br>
problem nor helps to secure benefits for the majority.},
  author       = {Ang, Ming Chee and Swain, Ashok},
  editor       = {WWC, World Water Council},
  isbn         = {92-95017-09-9},
  keyword      = {Dam Conflicts,Southeast Asia,Liberal democracy,Semi-authoritarian,Pak Mun Dam,Thailand,Bakun Dam,Malaysia,Conflict Management.},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {95--114},
  publisher    = {ARRAY(0x97c1798)},
  series       = {[Host publication title missing]},
  title        = {Political Structure and Dam Conflicts: Comparing Cases in Southeast Asia},
  year         = {2004},
}