Contested hydrosocial territories and disputed water governance: Struggles and competing claims over the Ilisu Dam development in southeastern Turkey

Lena Hommes*, Rutgerd Boelens, Harro Maat

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

55 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Dam development in southeastern Turkey is a highly-disputed issue, fanned by the Turkish-Kurdish conflict, socio-environmental and historical-cultural concerns, and international geopolitical interests. This paper focuses on discussions around the Ilisu Dam and shows how different actor coalitions imagine different hydrosocial territories regarding this mega-hydraulic project currently under construction. Imaginaries, counter-imaginaries and endeavours to materialize them go far beyond technical projects, portraying the dam to (re)configure the territory physically, ecologically, socio-economically, symbolically and discursively. The paper embeds competing hydro-territorial constructs and claims within an analysis of governmentality and the multi-scalar and multi-issue politics of dam opponents.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9-20
JournalGeoforum
Volume71
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2016

Keywords

  • Conflicts
  • Dams
  • Governmentality
  • Hydrosocial territories
  • Turkey
  • Water governance

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