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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The return of 'high modernism'? Exploring the changing development paradigm through a Rwandan case study of dam construction
Author:Dye, Barnaby
Periodical:Journal of Eastern African Studies (ISSN 1753-1063)
Geographic terms:Rwanda
External link:https://doi.org/10.1080/17531055.2016.1181411
Abstract:The past half-decade has seen a resurgence of dam building in Africa, a controversial development after decades of critique exposing the environmental, economic, and social costs of such projects. Dams have been imagined as symbols of modernity and as keys to national economic development, giving them such status that potential negatives get overlooked. This paper sets out to investigate the implementation of a particular dam built in this new resurgence period. It will ask whether modernist development logics are being repeated in the construction process, causing the social and environmental costs documented in past dam construction. This paper focuses on the Nyabarongo Dam in Rwanda, a country whose post-genocide development record and authoritarian modernist tendencies have been considerably debated. This particular case study also shows the growing role of India in Africa, as it records one of the first Indian financed and built dams on the continent. Qualitative field research found that while construction planning and practice has enabled many locals to benefit, the dam's construction was influenced by modernist logics of development that created detrimental, top-down practices. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]