Damming Asia: Japanese Overseas Development and the Reconfiguration of the Urban and Rural from the Colonial to the Post-Colonial Era

Aaron Moore | Associate Professor, School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies 

Damming Asia examines the history of Japan’s overseas dam construction and the reconfiguration of the rural and urban in various Asian nations from the age of Japanese imperialism before 1945 to the post-war era when Japan became a global overseas development power. By analyzing representative dam projects, it examines how the influential Japanese post-1945 aid model of “comprehensive development” introduced new power dynamics rooted in the colonial past that transformed the rural and urban in Burma, South Vietnam, South Korea, and Indonesia. Viewing dams as “assemblages of power,” it untangles the web of complex relationships and networks that lend these structures durability and transformative power.

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