Bruce Shoemaker and William Robichaud, eds. Dead in the Water: Global Lessons from the World Bank's Model Hydropower Project in Laos

Keith Barney
2019 Southeast Asian studies  
Tens of millions of dollars have been spent on environmental and social mitigation programs for the Nam Theun 2 (NT2) hydropower project in Laos, extending over the full footprint of the project zone from the Vietnam border down to the confluence of the two impacted rivers with the Mekong. What are scholars, development practitioners, and concerned citizens to make of this high-profile infrastructure project? Costing about US$1.45 billion in the end, it made such a significant investment in
more » ... essing its socio-environmental externalities, but as the authors of Dead in the Water argue, has still come up short. A first interpretation is that NT2 was, and remains, an exception. It is rare to encounter such a nationally transformative resource project, backed with loan guarantees by global institutions at the peak of their influence, in what was (as Laos in the late 1990s to early 2000s) a prototypical
doi:10.20495/seas.8.1_153 fatcat:spck5ls34zb5xnvjrjbwf4k7oa