The Mekong River plays an intricate and dynamic role in the environmental, social, economic, and cultural systems of the 70 million people throughout its basin and the more than 300 million people in the six Mekong nations. The river is both a necessity for millions of individuals with livelihoods centered on its resources and, in the eyes of large-scale actors, a tool for regional development and industrialization. Policies throughout the Mekong River Basin have long dealt with international issues and often center on large-scale outcomes, such as the promotion of regional economic development and intergovernmental cooperation, but have neglected to account for inter-scalar relationships and the impacts of hydro-development on small-scale actors and processes. The continued promotion of dams throughout the Mekong River Basin is exemplary of the emphasis on transboundary issues at the expense of small-scale actors.

Paper prepared for the Environmental Studies Senior Seminar/Geography Capstone.

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Unpublished Paper

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