Publication Date


Document Type


Committee Members

Pramod Kantha (Committee Member), Laura Luehrmann (Committee Chair), Sirisha Naidu (Committee Member)

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


This thesis investigates how people displaced from the construction of large dams in seek environmental justice. I studied the importance of regime type, the creation of protest groups and the formation of alliances with national, international organizations, and the media. In a comparison between protest movements against the Three Gorges Dam in China and the Sardar Sarovar Dam in India, displaced populations suffered from loss of community, livelihood, and health and were victimized by corrupt actors that supported the dams. The rapid economic development of these two countries emerged as a major point of comparison between the two. Regime type was notable in that it informed the structure of the protest movements, but was not a major determinant of the end results if the protestation. Both countries had avenues for protests. National and international NGOs and the media gave the protesters a voice in cessation of building destructive new dams. Protest movements also influenced the dissenting opinions of some politicians regarding large water infrastructure projects.

Page Count


Department or Program

Department of Political Science

Year Degree Awarded