China Goes Global: A comparative study of Chinese hydropower dams in Africa and Asia
Discipline: Area and Development Studies
Funded Period: 15 October 2012 – 14 April 2016
Rising powers: China
Additional countries: Cambodia, Ghana, Malaysia, Nigeria
China’s rapid economic growth has created a series of pressures which has forced the country to engage more closely with a number of low and middle income countries (LMICs). China’s growth has depleted scarce domestic natural resources and so part of its ‘Going Out Strategy’ encourages overseas investment to access natural resources such as energy and minerals. Access to overseas natural resources, new markets and technological advances, have made China the world’s largest player in large hydropower dam projects, usually backed by state finance and state-owned enterprises.
The aim of this project is to provide the first systematic and comparative analysis of the environmental, social, economic and political impacts of Chinese hydropower dam projects in low and middle income countries, that will inform corporate behaviour of hydropower firms in China and the UK and shape emerging national and international policy responses.
Four themes will be thoroughly investigated:
- Organization and motives of Chinese hydropower actors;
- Local and national Impacts;
- Governance implications;
- UK and OECD interests.
The project will apply a multi-sited, comparative case study approach and will involve detailed empirical research in Ghana, Nigeria, Cambodia and Malaysia, which represent different facets of China’s hydropower in the global South.
Dr. Frauke Urban, School of Oriental & African Studies.
Other members of the core team
Professor Laurence Smith, Co-Investigator
Professor Giles Mohan, Co-Investigator
Dr May Tan-Mullins, Co-Investigator
Dr. Giuseppina Siciliano (Research Fellow/Project Manager)
The project team comprises 10 institutes from the UK, China and each of the 4 countries involved in the case studies: SOAS, the Open University, University of Nottingham Ningbo in China, the University of Ghana, Cambodia Development Resource Institute CDRI, the Nigerian Institute of Social and Economic Research, Nottingham University in Malaysia, Universiti Malaysia Sabah, Tsinghua University in Beijing and International Rivers.
- Policy brief: Chinese dams go global
- Policy brief China goes global, June 2015, CeDEP, SOAS, University of London. 【English version 中文版】
China Goes Global, October 2014, International Innovation, issue 159: 82-83.
- Urban, F., 2015. Environmental innovation for sustainable development: the role of China. Sustainable Development, Vol.23(7-8): 203–205.
- Urban, F., Siciliano, G., Sour, K., Lonn, P.D., Tan-Mullins, M., Mang, G., 2015. South-South technology transfer of low carbon innovation: Chinese large hydropower dams in Cambodia. Sustainable Development, Vol.23(7-8): 232–244.
- Nordensvard, J. and Urban, F., 2015. Social innovation and Chinese overseas hydropower dams: The nexus of national social policy and Corporate Social Responsibility. Sustainable Development, Vol.23(7-8): 245–256.
- Siciliano, G., Urban, F., Kim, S., Lonn, D.P., 2015. Hydropower, social priorities and the rural-urban development divide: the case of large dams in Cambodia. Energy Policy, Volume 86(11):273–285.
- Urban, F., Nordensvard, J., Siciliano, G., Li, B., 2015. Chinese Overseas Hydropower Dams and Social Sustainability: The Bui Dam in Ghana and the Kamchay Dam in Cambodia. Asia& the Pacific Policy Studies, Vol. 2(3):573–589.
- Siciliano, G., Urban, F., Kimb, S. and Lonn, P.D., 2015. Hydropower, social priorities and the rural–urban development divide: The case of large dams in Cambodia. Energy Policy, Vol. 86, November 2015: 273–285.
- Urban, F. and Nordensvärd, J., 2014. China Dams the World: The Environmental and Social Impacts of Chinese Dams. E-International Relations, 30 January.
- Urban, F., Nordensvärd, J., Wang, Y., Khatri, D., 2013. An analysis of China’s investments in the hydropower sector in the Greater Mekong Sub-Region. Environment, Development and Sustainability, Vol.15(2):301-324.
- Urban, F., Mohan, G., Cook, S., 2013. China as a new shaper of international development: the environmental implications. Environment, Development and Sustainability Vol.15(2):257-263
Principal investigator Dr Frauke Urban introduces the project 'China Goes Global: A comparative study of Chinese hydropower dams in Africa and Asia'.
China goes global: lessons from Africa and Asia. A video produced by the project 'China Goes Global: A comparative study of Chinese hydropower dams in Africa and Asia.