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Hydropower in Cambodia : Competing discursive story-lines of a contested development path

Nilsson, Johannes (2015) ACET35
Centre for East and South-East Asian Studies, Lund University
Abstract
This thesis uses discourse to analyze how different story-lines of hydropower development in the Mekong River Basin reproduce the concept of sustainable development. With actors advocating sometimes diametrically opposite development paths resulting in different social, economic and environmental trade-offs they all refer to and motivate their agendas in terms of sustainable development. I applied a qualitative approach facilitated through semi-structured interviews to engage multiple actors in the discourses of hydropower. Using the concepts of story-lines, discursive elements and discursive closure I investigate three tracks in the debate on hydropower development pertaining to Cambodia’s downstream position on the Mekong River. By... (More)
This thesis uses discourse to analyze how different story-lines of hydropower development in the Mekong River Basin reproduce the concept of sustainable development. With actors advocating sometimes diametrically opposite development paths resulting in different social, economic and environmental trade-offs they all refer to and motivate their agendas in terms of sustainable development. I applied a qualitative approach facilitated through semi-structured interviews to engage multiple actors in the discourses of hydropower. Using the concepts of story-lines, discursive elements and discursive closure I investigate three tracks in the debate on hydropower development pertaining to Cambodia’s downstream position on the Mekong River. By problematizing the concept of sustainable development in regard to hydropower, the thesis demonstrates how its ambiguity can propel debate and I argue that the concept’s vagueness is to be seen a potential strength rather than a weakness. The thesis found that strong hydropower proponents tend to emphasis economic aspects of sustainable development succeeded by the environmental and social. Opponents on the other hand demonstrated a reversed tendency while a middle-track expresses difficulties in connecting the two extremes. (Less)
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author
Nilsson, Johannes
supervisor
organization
course
ACET35
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
Hydropower, Cambodia, Mekong River, Sustainable Development, Story-lines, Discursive Closure, Discursive Elements
language
English
id
7441103
date added to LUP
2015-06-23 14:53:28
date last changed
2015-06-23 14:53:28
@misc{7441103,
  abstract     = {This thesis uses discourse to analyze how different story-lines of hydropower development in the Mekong River Basin reproduce the concept of sustainable development. With actors advocating sometimes diametrically opposite development paths resulting in different social, economic and environmental trade-offs they all refer to and motivate their agendas in terms of sustainable development. I applied a qualitative approach facilitated through semi-structured interviews to engage multiple actors in the discourses of hydropower. Using the concepts of story-lines, discursive elements and discursive closure I investigate three tracks in the debate on hydropower development pertaining to Cambodia’s downstream position on the Mekong River. By problematizing the concept of sustainable development in regard to hydropower, the thesis demonstrates how its ambiguity can propel debate and I argue that the concept’s vagueness is to be seen a potential strength rather than a weakness. The thesis found that strong hydropower proponents tend to emphasis economic aspects of sustainable development succeeded by the environmental and social. Opponents on the other hand demonstrated a reversed tendency while a middle-track expresses difficulties in connecting the two extremes.},
  author       = {Nilsson, Johannes},
  keyword      = {Hydropower,Cambodia,Mekong River,Sustainable Development,Story-lines,Discursive Closure,Discursive Elements},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Hydropower in Cambodia : Competing discursive story-lines of a contested development path},
  year         = {2015},
}