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The University of Southampton
Politics and International RelationsPart of Economic, Social and Political Science

Dr Hensengerth wins British Academy Small Grant for study of Mekong River Commission

Published: 23 August 2011

Institutionalising Environmental Norms for Large Dams: the Case of the Mekong River Commission

The Mekong River in Laos and Cambodia is the site of eleven proposed hydropower projects for clean energy development. The four countries are under pressure to meet rising energy needs. However, both countries are dependent on inland fisheries for food security. If thoroughly applied, environmental planning procedures will find a compromise between energy needs and food security by limiting environmental and social damage.

The institution responsible for managing the Lower Mekong River in Laos, Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam is the Mekong River Commission.

The project studies environmental norm change and institutional choice in the dam-planning practices of the Mekong River Commission. In particular, it examines norm change in relation to 1) factors that lead to the inclusion of environmental assessments in decision-making processes and 2) the effectiveness of environmental planning resulting from this norm change.


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