ISBN: 195687833 Publisher:Oxford University Press Book Format: Hard Bound Language: English Physical Description: 316pages Year of Publication: 2007
At the close of the twentieth century, there were some 45,000 large dams worldwide, most built after 1945. This book shows how the enormous global investment in dams was spurred by much more than utilitarian concerns. Dams were built as essentially political symbols of progress, the technocratic state, and national empowerment and achievement. This book is about the political imagination that informed dam-building in the forties, fifties, and sixties, and explores how and why dams came to be markers of nationhood. At the heart of the study lie representations of the Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC), modelled on Americas Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA). Like TVA--widely regarded as the paradigm for world reconstruction-- DVC was perceived to be at the forefront of the struggle for development. It was seen as symbolizing the dawn of a new age in the underdeveloped world, a project that would demonstrate that modernity could be reproduced in a matter of decades in the decolonizing world. The author shows how American river control projects influenced thinking on development along the Damodar, and how Indian development visionaries reinterpreted TVA, ultimately in an attempt to come to terms with concerns that were more cultural than economic. He demonstrates how development policies and actions-- the construction of dams, power stations, and irrigation canals--were, and are, linked to the ideological challenges posed by nationalism, liberal colonialism, and post-war liberal modernism. He also addresses the ideological reasons why so many of these projects have been both disappointing to their supporters and disastrous for those whom they have displaced. This book will be of interest to students and scholars of environment and ecology as also to environmental activists, policymakers, and NGOs interested in issues of development.