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The Mekong: A Socio-Legal Approach to River Basin Development by Ben Boer et al. (review)

The Mekong: A Socio-Legal Approach to River Basin Development by Ben Boer et al. (review) Contemporary Southeast Asia Vol. 38, No. 2 (2016), pp. 333–36 DOI: 10.1355/cs38-2n © 2016 ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute ISSN 0129-797X print / ISSN 1793-284X electronic The Mekong: A Socio-Legal Approach to River Basin Development. By Ben Boer, Philip Hirsch, Fleur Johns, Ben Saul and Natalia Scurrah. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge, 2016. Softcover: 251pp. This book is an impressive assemblage of legal scholarship by four professors of law and one researcher in human and environmental geography — all based at Australian universities. In eight chapters that bear no single author identification, the book presents the Mekong and hydropower development through a socio-legal lens and “legal pluralism” that encompasses both formal or “hard law” as well as more informal “soft law”. The former includes executive decrees, legislation and action that can be enforced, and especially international law governing investment designed to reduce political and financial risk to foreign capital. The latter ranges from customary rights to water, fisheries and forest land, Environment Impact Assessments (EIAs) that lack objective criteria for decision making such as the formally agreed but unenforceable rules including the Mekong River Commission’s (MRC) Procedures for Notification, Prior Consultation and Agreement (PNPCA) for proposed mainstream dams. The purpose http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Contemporary Southeast Asia: A Journal of International and Strategic Affairs Institute of Southeast Asian Studies

The Mekong: A Socio-Legal Approach to River Basin Development by Ben Boer et al. (review)

The Mekong: A Socio-Legal Approach to River Basin Development by Ben Boer et al. (review)


Contemporary Southeast Asia Vol. 38, No. 2 (2016), pp. 333–36 DOI: 10.1355/cs38-2n © 2016 ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute ISSN 0129-797X print / ISSN 1793-284X electronic The Mekong: A Socio-Legal Approach to River Basin Development. By Ben Boer, Philip Hirsch, Fleur Johns, Ben Saul and Natalia Scurrah. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge, 2016. Softcover: 251pp. This book is an impressive assemblage of legal scholarship by four professors of law and one researcher in human and environmental geography — all based at Australian universities. In eight chapters that bear no single author identification, the book presents the Mekong and hydropower development through a socio-legal lens and “legal pluralism” that encompasses both formal or “hard law” as well as more informal “soft law”. The former includes executive decrees, legislation and action that can be enforced, and especially international law governing investment designed to reduce political and financial risk to foreign capital. The latter ranges from customary rights to water, fisheries and forest land, Environment Impact Assessments (EIAs) that lack objective criteria for decision making such as the formally agreed but unenforceable rules including the Mekong River Commission’s (MRC) Procedures for Notification, Prior Consultation and Agreement (PNPCA) for proposed mainstream dams. The purpose of the book is not to explore solutions to conflicting local, national and transboundary interests, differing concepts of the objectives of development and the vastly uneven power of stakeholders but “to assemble a nuanced account of how laws and legal institutions at different levels operate and shape water governance outcomes, claims and expectations in the Mekong” (p. 35). Some fifty-three joint field...
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Publisher
Institute of Southeast Asian Studies
Copyright
Copyright © The Institute of Southeast Asian Studies.
ISSN
1793-284X
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Abstract

Contemporary Southeast Asia Vol. 38, No. 2 (2016), pp. 333–36 DOI: 10.1355/cs38-2n © 2016 ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute ISSN 0129-797X print / ISSN 1793-284X electronic The Mekong: A Socio-Legal Approach to River Basin Development. By Ben Boer, Philip Hirsch, Fleur Johns, Ben Saul and Natalia Scurrah. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge, 2016. Softcover: 251pp. This book is an impressive assemblage of legal scholarship by four professors of law and one researcher in human and environmental geography — all based at Australian universities. In eight chapters that bear no single author identification, the book presents the Mekong and hydropower development through a socio-legal lens and “legal pluralism” that encompasses both formal or “hard law” as well as more informal “soft law”. The former includes executive decrees, legislation and action that can be enforced, and especially international law governing investment designed to reduce political and financial risk to foreign capital. The latter ranges from customary rights to water, fisheries and forest land, Environment Impact Assessments (EIAs) that lack objective criteria for decision making such as the formally agreed but unenforceable rules including the Mekong River Commission’s (MRC) Procedures for Notification, Prior Consultation and Agreement (PNPCA) for proposed mainstream dams. The purpose

Journal

Contemporary Southeast Asia: A Journal of International and Strategic AffairsInstitute of Southeast Asian Studies

Published: Aug 13, 2016

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