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Abstract: Socio-environmental conflicts around dams are mounting around the world, as dam construction has been fuelled by green energy investments and is still promoted as technically efficient solution to tackle energy demand and climate change. Groups opposing such projects have been fighting for several decades now and are building networks with other movements and scholars. They first focused on fair rehabilitation of affected people, but are now incorporating more comprehensive analysis and reflections. This article explores the current politics of major anti-dam groups and networks with a special focus on critics towards the energy production model and the interconnections with other relating issues (water management, farming, etc). We aim at presenting major anti-dam movements as political movements, quite different from NIMBY movements or localist groups. We draw on the Atlas of Environmental Justice of the EJOLT project and apply a post-structural political ecology approach, relying on activist-led research and activist knowledge.
Keywords: dams, environmental justice, political ecology, social movements, energy

This media entry was a contribution to the special session “Challenges to growth from the South: Conflicts and alternatives” at the 4th International Degrowth Conference in Leipzig in 2014.