Date: 19 August 2013 (Monday)
Speaker: Dr Pichamon Yeophantong
Oxford-Princeton Global Leaders Fellow, Global Economic Governance Programme, University College, Oxford
Chairperson: Dr J. Jackson Ewing
Research Fellow, RSIS Centre for NTS Studies
About the Seminar:
While Chinese investments in the energy and resource sectors of mainland Southeast Asia come with the promise of economic development, they have also been accused of exacerbating the region’s ubiquitous problems of uneven development and environmental injustice. In examining the ‘ecological footprint’ of Chinese overseas investments in the Mekong region’s hydropower sector, this presentation explored how Chinese dam developers have been compelled to address mounting external pressure to adopt policies more closely aligned with emerging norms on ‘responsible’ investment. It argued that an important dynamic is the development within the region of an embryonic transnational advocacy network, with campaigns spearheaded by grassroots and international non-governmental organisations proving crucial to raising public awareness, as well as to incentivising the Chinese government and its state-owned enterprises to act on their environmental and social responsibilities. Cases of localised resistance to hydropower schemes in Cambodia, Lao PDR and Myanmar were drawn upon to explain the strategies used by civil society actors operating locally and transnationally, together with their varying influence on the policies and behaviour of ‘target’ actors.
Click here to read the working paper that Dr Yeophantong’s seminar was based on.
About the Speaker:
Dr Pichamon Yeophantong is an Oxford-Princeton Global Leaders Fellow currently based in the Global Economic Governance Programme at University College, Oxford. She has previously held visiting lectureships and research positions at Peking University, National Taiwan University, Chulalongkorn University, and Thammasat University. Pichamon completed her PhD and MA (First-Class Honours) in International Relations as an inaugural China Institute Scholar and Hedley Bull Scholar at the Australian National University.