Call for papers: Development Studies Association Annual Meeting 2019, Milton Keynes, UK 19-21 June

Deadline for abstracts:  14 January 2019

Session Title: Dams, Development & Decision-making

Organizers:  Pon Souvannaseng (University of Manchester); David Hulme (University of Manchester)

FutureDAMs is convening 3 paper panel sessions on ‘Dams, Development & Decision-making’ at the Development Studies Association 2019 conference.

Hydro-projects were the cornerstone of international development in the early post-war decades and epitomized high modernist national development campaigns in the global ‘north’ and ‘south’, driven by the Bretton Woods regime.

With ‘new’ sources of finance, actors and drivers, infrastructure projects have returned in the 21st century; more than 3700 large dams are under construction or being planned in the developing world. This panel offers a forum to bring together biophysical and social scientific research to open up development thinking around the global resurgence in hydro-infrastructure expansion and discuss ways to achieve more just and sustainable practices.

In particular, we welcome contributions which explore:

  • The food-energy-water nexus linked to megaprojects (i.e. their impact on patterns of cross-national migration, ecology, hydrology, agrarian studies)
  • Innovative integrated and cross-disciplinary approaches to mega-system analysis (integrated assessment, development engineering, social scientific and biophysical approaches)
  • Socio-environmental ex-ante and ex-post impacts (ecology; hydrological and climate science; resettlement; benefit sharing)
  • Increasing cross-national flows in finance, machinery, technology, goods and people, which have enabled the transnational hydro-energy boom
  • How decisions about water management interventions are taken (politics of mega-projects; populist dimensions; spaces for political action and counter-movement; role of authoritarian and modernist ideologies)

It is envisaged that panel papers may form a special issue in outlets such as World Development or Development & Change from the proceedings.

Please submit paper abstracts (no more than 250 words) no later than 14 January 2019 (11:59pm GMT) via the DSA website.

Specific questions regarding the session can be addressed to Pon Souvannaseng: p.souvannaseng [at]

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