Rules, Norms and NGO Advocacy Strategies : Hydropower Development on the Mekong River book cover
1st Edition

Rules, Norms and NGO Advocacy Strategies
Hydropower Development on the Mekong River

ISBN 9780815395379
Published December 8, 2017 by Routledge
228 Pages 33 B/W Illustrations

FREE Standard Shipping
USD $54.95

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

There is much controversy over the development of new dams for hydropower, where concerns for environmental protection and the livelihoods of local people may conflict with the goals of economic development. This book analyses the opportunities and barriers that NGOs and civil society actors face when conducting advocacy campaigns against such developments. 

Through a comparison of two NGO coalitions in Cambodia and Vietnam advocating against the Xayaburi hydropower dam on the Mekong River, the book explores the intricate interactions of formal and informal rules and norms and how they influence advocacy strategies. A framework for analysis is proposed which serves as a tool for analysis by civil society actors. The author generates fresh insights into the way in which opportunities and barriers are created for NGOs to influence state-centric decision-making processes. 

The book also discusses Mekong riparian states’ negotiation process over the Xayaburi hydropower dam in detail, providing an analysis of the Mekong River’s governance under the 1995 Mekong Agreement. The book concludes by suggesting ways to improve the engagement of civil society actors in the governance of transboundary rivers and development projects.

Table of Contents

1. NGOs and Environmental Governance  Part 1: Research Design  2. Analysing NGO Advocacy Strategies  3. Framework for Analysis: NGO Coalitions Along the Mekong River  Part 2: Biophysical and Material Conditions, Actors, Rules and Norms  4. Biophysical and Material Conditions  5. Actors  6. Rules and Norms  Part 3: Strategies and Interactions  7. The Xayaburi Dam Story  8. Strategies Targeting the Mekong Regional Decision-makers  9. Strategies Targeting National Decision-makers  10. Strategies Targeting Stakeholders in Affected Areas  11. Strategies Targeting General Public  12. Conclusion

View More



Yumiko Yasuda is an environmental and water governance specialist. She was a researcher for the Centre for Water Law, Policy and Science, University of Dundee, Scotland, UK. She has previously worked for the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Southeast Asia.


"In addition to benefits, the accelerating pace of development in the Mekong region is creating many conflicts and perverse outcomes from natural resources development. In this contested space it is critical to understand how non-government voices can contribute to better government decisions. Yasuda’s book provides exceptional insights into how civil society can constructively influence institutions in Cambodia and Vietnam." – Jamie Pittock, The Australian National University, Australia. 

"Recent times have witnessed a resurgence in hydropower developments, particularly evident throughout the Mekong River Basin. This book is therefore extremely timely, and significant in its focus – namely the interface between formal and informal norms, and the advocacy strategies of NGOs and civil society actors. The book is a must read for both scholars and practitioners interested in the role of NGOs within decision-making processes." – Alistair Rieu-Clarke, University of Dundee, UK. 

"This intriguing study of Cambodian and Vietnamese NGOs as advocates against Mekong River dams provides important insights into the ways in which NGOs influence, but are also influenced by, the norms and rules of the societies and transnational contexts in which they are located." – Philip Hirsch, University of Sydney, Australia.