The Future of Large Dams - dealing with social, environmental, institutional and political costs

Thayer Scudder 
Earthscan  April 2006  

Paperback  408 pp  ISBN 9781844073382      £45.00
Viewed by some as symbols of progress and by others as inherently flawed, large dams remain one of the most contentious development issues on Earth. Building on the work of the now defunct World Commission on Dams, Thayer Scudder wades into the debate with unprecedented authority.

Employing the Commission's Seven Strategic priorities, Scudder charts the 'middle way' forward by examining the impacts of large dams on ecosystems, societies and political economies. He also analyses the structure of the decision-making process for water resource development and tackles the highly contentious issue of dam-induced resettlement, illuminated by a statistical analysis of 50 cases.


  • The Large Dams Dispute and the Future of Large Dams
  • Theories on the Resettlement Process
  • A Comparative Survey of 50 Cases of Dam-Induced Resettlement
  • How River Basin Communities Can Benefit from Resettlement
  • Sri Lanka's Mahaweli Development Project
  • Further Case Studies
  • Addressing Downstream and Upper Catchments: Environmental and Social Impacts
  • Institutional Arrangements
  • The Future of Large Dams and the Way Forward
  • Bibliography
  • Index
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Earthscan : environmental science : policy : sociology : water science

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