Journal article

Assembling dams in Ghana: A genealogical inquiry into the fluidity of hydropolitics

Xiao Han, Michael Webber

Political Geography | Elsevier | Published : 2020


The paper offers a geographical interpretation of the evolving technical, political, and economic intricacy of large dams. It incorporates existing hydropolitical scholarship and the notion of the Chinese Water Machine to reframe dams as assemblages built by specific political, financial and technical processes in particular socioenvironmental regions. The paper examines the continuity of hydropolitical relationships through a genealogical inquiry into the formulation and materialisation of Ghana's three dams: the Akosombo and Kpong dams built during the Cold War, backed by Western lenders and engineering companies; and the Bui dam commissioned in the 2010s, with support from China. Based on..

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Awarded by Australian Research Council

Funding Acknowledgements

Portions of this research were supported by the Australian Research Council [Discovery Project Grant DP110103381]; and the China Scholarship Council -University of Melbourne PhD Scholarship, which funded Xiao Han's doctoral research [thesis title: Money, Markets and Hydropower: Chinese Dam Building in Africa] at the University of Melbourne.