Environmental governance, local consent and the changing politics of dams
Nepal’s energy sector is currently undergoing a dramatic transformation in the context of an unprecedented scale of investments in low carbon energy infrastructure development. In this seminar, I focus on the changing politics of resistance against mega dams in the Himalayan region, driven by anticipatory visions of a prosperous energy future that has been facilitated by the consolidation of the regional energy market. My analysis is set against a context of the emergence of a transnationally allied movement against mega dams in the 1990s, which dramatically altered the dynamics of dam construction at the global and local levels. I discuss new regulatory techniques, governance mechanisms and institutions, along with myriad other historical, political and cultural factors to show how in the contemporary ‘infrastructure moment’, a combination of material conditions and speculative visions created by the state and the market, in addition to historical–geographical contingencies, have introduced new complexities, which have diminished the collective power of anti-dam voices in the region.
T?his seminar will be chaired by Wendy Conway-Lamb.
About the speaker
Dr Udisha Saklani is a lecturer in Human Geography at the University of Monash, where she teaches corporate sustainability and sustainability measurement at the postgraduate level. She recently received her PhD in Geography from the University of Cambridge. Her doctoral project focused on the rise of new state and private sector actors, the shift in the nature of development finance, and the changing role of international organisations in driving a clean energy transition in the Himalayan region. Her research focuses on the institutional and political dimensions of water governance, energy transition and climate policy. Her past projects have explored environmental policy and regulation, public-private partnerships, environmental behaviour and transboundary water cooperation and conflict in South and Southeast Asia. Her work has been published in leading water and energy journals such as Environmental Science & Policy, Renewable Energy, Energy Policy, and Water Alternatives.
This event is hybrid. Join us on Zoom or at Building 24, University of Canberra.