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01 DEC 2023 (FRI) 11:00-12:30

Updated: Jan 2

China Development Studies Elite Seminar Series

Critical Hydropolitics in China

Date: 1 DEC 2023 (Friday)

Time: 11:00-12:30 (HKT)

Via Zoom: Zoom link will be provided upon successful registration



There is a growing body of research advancing more critical approaches to hydropolitics, much of it written by geographers. Focusing attention away from state politics and state actors, cross-border conflict, and questionable notions of “water wars”, this literature is advancing our understanding of the contested nature of hydro development projects within and beyond China’s borders and their uneven effects on the ground. In this presentation I will give an overview of this field, drawing out key themes such as infrastructure, competing logics, critical approaches to the state, and critical approaches to power. Beginning from China’s domestic water infrastructure projects and extending to Chinese actors’ dam building on transboundary rivers, my aim is to highlight the productive sites, lenses, and processes that could further deepen our understanding of the complex interrelations of water and power in the region.

Dr. Sarah Rogers

Senior Lecturer, Asia Institute, University of Melbourne

Sarah is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Melbourne's Asia Institute and a member of the Centre for Contemporary Chinese Studies. She is a geographer who studies social, political, and environmental change in China. Her research interests include hydropolitics, poverty alleviation, resettlement, agrarian change, and climate change adaptation. She was a Chief Investigator on two Australian Research Council Discovery Projects: one on the technopolitics of China's South-North Water Transfer project (2017-2022) and one on the restructuring of China's agricultural sector (2018-2023). She is currently working on a collaborative project about Chinese investment in Indonesia with colleagues at the University of Melbourne, University of Indonesia, La Trobe University, and Hohai University.



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