The Mekong River is a vital and valuable resource, with huge development potential for the six states through which it flows. Given the significant asymmetry of power between those states, however, there is a real risk that some might utilise it to the detriment of others.
Without a sense of regional belonging, it is difficult to imagine that these states and their constituent communities will take regional imperatives to heart, participate in joint regulatory frameworks, or adopt behaviours for upstream-downstream and lateral cooperation over the appropriation and use of their shared resources. How effectively has closer interdependence of the Mekong countries accommodated the development of a political-social-cultural space conducive to the growth of a regional "we-ness" among not only political elites, but also the general public? The contributors to this volume approach this question from a range of directions, including the impacts of tourism, regional development programmes, the Mekong Power Grid, and Sino-US rivalry.
This edited volume presents valuable insights for scholars of international relations, Asian studies, development studies, environment studies, policy studies, and human geography.
Table of Contents
List of Illustrations
List of contributors
1 Introduction: Economic growth and community construction in the Greater Mekong Subregion
XIN CHEN AND CHARLES SAMUEL JOHNSTON
2 Constructing a region (the Greater Mekong Subregion) out of a river
3 100% Pure Mekong: The key to identity, development, and tourism in the Greater Mekong Subregion?
CHARLES SAMUEL JOHNSTON
4 Developmental change in the Greater Mekong Subregion: Economic growth yes, community construction?
5 The Sino-US strategic rivalry in the development of the Mekong
DINAR SWASTININGTYAS THEOSA
6 Regional cooperation through the Greater Mekong Subregion programme: Focus on hydropower development and the Mekong power grid
NAYEON SHIN, SEUNGHO LEE AND ILPYO HONG
7 Vietnam Mekong River Delta: A regional connection perspective
BUI QUANG BINH
8 Participatory water governance and impact assessment: A case study of the Hua Na Irrigation project in northeast Thailand
9 China and the Mekong: Domestic hydro politics
Charles Samuel Johnston has recently retired from the School of Hospitality and Tourism at Auckland University of Technology, where he had lectured from 1998 to 2018. His main research themes focus on tourism in Asia and in cities, and on the relationship between tourism and socio-economic development.
Xin Chen is Research Fellow and Program Officer at the New Zealand Asia Institute of the University of Auckland. Her research interests focus on East Asian regional integration, China-Asia relations, and Chinese politics.