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What Makes a Megaproject?

A Review of Global Hydropower Assemblages

Grant M. Gutierrez, Sarah Kelly, Joshua J. Cousins, and Christopher Sneddon

This article reviews how global hydropower assemblages catalyze socioecological change in the world’s rivers. As a quintessential megaproject, massive dams and the hydropower they generate have long captivated the modernist development imaginary. Yet, despite growing recognition of the socio-ecological consequences of hydropower, it has recently assumed a central role in supporting renewable energy transitions. We highlight three trends in hydropower politics that characterize global hydropower assemblages: mega-dams as markers of nation-state development; river protection by territorial alliances and social movements opposed to hydropower; and transitions from spectacular, centralized hydropower installations to the propagation of small and large hydropower within climate mitigation schemes. We offer insights on how global hydropower assemblages force examination beyond traditional categories of “mega” through more holistic and grounded analyses of significance.

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Joshua Mullenite

nation-state-based democracy. However, Barber creates and then falls into what Mark Purcell calls the “local trap” in which urban autonomy is conflated with “greater democracy or justice” ( 2006: 1931 ). Ultimately, however, Barber's ideas fall short on

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Zoe Bray and Christian Thauer

people may pursue different utopias, and these may at times conflict. We conclude that it still takes an organized, legitimized polity to coordinate utopia on a macro systems level, but how to bring about “good” polities on a nation state-level remains

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Decolonizing Development in Diné Bikeyah

Resource Extraction, Anti-Capitalism, and Relational Futures

Melanie K. Yazzie

exceeds the advent and reach of capital, in the postwar period it “became the central mission or justification for Third World states” to the extent that it was “universally taken up … to define and organize the nation-state-capital triad everywhere” (4

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Fighting Invasive Infrastructures

Indigenous Relations against Pipelines

Anne Spice

white land ownership, and cementing settler ontologies that naturalize the existence and domination of the nation-state, colonial dispossession travels through infrastructures, as they are used to extend settlements’ reach into Indigenous territories

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Marian Simon-Rojo, Inés Morales Bernardos, and Jon Sanz Landaluze

( Friedmann and McMichael 1989 ; Holt-Giménez and Shattuck 2011 ; McMichael 2000 , 2005 ; Sevilla Guzmán et al. 1996 ; Toledo 1990 ; Van der Ploeg 2009 ). At the same time, the weakening of the nation-state that is intrinsic to the global neoliberal

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Damaging Environments

Land, Settler Colonialism, and Security for Indigenous Peoples

Wilfrid Greaves

possession of other peoples’ lands and resources for the benefit of Empire. … Property rights were derived from the Crown, which in the form of the nation-state holds possession. Possession and nationhood are thus constituted symbiotically.” Settler

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Natural Resources by Numbers

The Promise of “El uno por mil” in Ecuador’s Yasuní-ITT Oil Operations

Amelia Fiske

harm to the environment and human health and sites of contested Amazonian territory are drawn into relation with notions of the public good in the making of a neo-extractive nation-state, and to the speculative value of oil barrels pegged to a volatile

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Navigating Shifting Regimes of Ocean Governance

From UNCLOS to Sustainable Development Goal 14

Ana K. Spalding and Ricardo de Ycaza

principle of the “land dominates the sea” stated by the International Court of Justice, the attribution of maritime areas to a nation-state's territory is a legal process that is based solely on the possession of territory which encompasses a coastline

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Richard Widick and John Foran

acknowledged in the written constitution of a nation-state or the charter of an international organization, remains just a claim that functions as a right only to the extent that it is recognized as such by legitimate political authority and performed by