Dams and Development in China: The Moral Economy of Water and Power by Bryan TiltDams and Development in China: The Moral Economy of Water and Power by Bryan Tilt

Dams and Development in China: The Moral Economy of Water and Power

byBryan Tilt

Paperback | December 2, 2014

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China is home to half of the world's large dams and adds dozens more each year. The benefits are considerable: dams deliver hydropower, provide reliable irrigation water, protect people and farmland against flooding, and produce hydroelectricity in a nation with a seeimingly insatiable appetite for energy. As hydropower responds to a larger share of energy demand, dams may also help to reduce the consumption of fossil fuels, welcome news in a country where air and water pollution have become dire and greenhouse gas emissions are the highest in the world.

Yet the advantages of dams come at a high cost for river ecosystems and for the social and economic well-being of local people, who face displacement and farmland loss. This book examines the array of water-management decisions faced by Chinese leaders and their consequences for local communities. Focusing on the southwestern province of Yunnan-a major hub for hydropower development in China-which encompasses one of the world's most biodiverse temperate ecosystems and one of China's most ethnically and culturally rich regions, Bryan Tilt takes the reader from the halls of decision-making power in Beijing to Yunnan's rural villages. In the process, he examines the contrasting values of government agencies, hydropower corporations, NGOs, and local communities and explores how these values are linked to longstanding cultural norms about what is right, proper, and just. He also considers the various strategies these groups use to influence water-resource policy, including advocacy, petitioning, and public protest. Drawing on a decade of research, he offers his insights on whether the world's most populous nation will adopt greater transparency, increased scientific collaboration, and broader public participation as it continues to grow economically.

Bryan Tilt is an associate professor of anthropology at Oregon State University. His research focuses on sustainable development, agricultural systems, pollution control, and water resources in China and the United States. He is also the author of The Struggle for Sustainability in Rural China: Environmental Values and Civil Society.
Title:Dams and Development in China: The Moral Economy of Water and PowerFormat:PaperbackDimensions:280 pagesPublished:December 2, 2014Publisher:Columbia University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0231170114

ISBN - 13:9780231170116


Read from the Book

Read the fourth chapter, "The Nu River":

Table of Contents

List of IllustrationsPrefaceAbbreviations1. The Moral Economy of Water and Power2. Crisis and Opportunity: Water Resources and Dams in Contemporary China3. The Lancang River: Coping with Resettlement and Agricultural Change4. The Nu River: Anticipating Development and Displacement5. Experts, Assessments, and Models: The Science of Decision Making6. People in the Way: Resettlement in Policy and Practice7. A Broader Confluence: Conservation Initiatives and China's Global Dam IndustryConclusion: The Moral Economy RevisitedList of Chinese TermsNotesWorks CitedIndex

Editorial Reviews

An in-depth research on the problems and issues related to large hydropower projects in China. For those who have an interest in this field, this is definitely a work that must be read.