Subduing nature and harnessing water resources rose to become the key paradigm of modernisation in the Mekong Delta. Over the past 40 years, waterscape engineering turned Vietnam's largest river estuary into one of the most agriculturally productive areas in the world. This book traces water resources development from the time of the socialist-oriented hydraulic mission and Green Revolution, which began in the late 1970s under the economic rationale of central planning, to more recent trends responding to r enovation policy, global environmental change and Vietnam's capitalist transformation. Analytically, the focus is with the nexus of water regulation, bureaucratic power and socio-ecological change, as well as the vested interests and corresponding strategic actions that coalesce around the technocratic hydro-management. Going beyond the scope of the Mekong Delta, the author offers new perspectives and critical reflections on water governance dynamics and institutional reforms in Vietnam from both historical and contemporary perspectives.
Simon Benedikter is a scholar of Southeast Asian Studies and served as a senior researcher at the Center for Development Research (ZEF), University of Bonn (Germany) from 2007 to 2013. Based in the Mekong Delta since 2007, the author has been involved in a wide range of social science research activities on water governance, rural development and environmental issues.