Energy, Governance and Security in Thailand and Myanmar (Burma): A Critical Approach to Environmental Politics in the South

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by Adam Simpson

Across the world states are seeking out new and secure supplies of energy but this search is manifesting itself most visibly in Asia where rapid industrialisation in states such as China and India is fomenting a frantic scramble for energy resources. Due to entrenched societal inequities and widespread authoritarian governance, however, the pursuit of national energy security through transnational energy projects has resulted in devastating impacts on the human and environmental security of local populations. These effects are particularly evident in both Thailand and Myanmar (Burma), which are increasingly engaged in the cross-border energy trade.

Based on extensive fieldwork and theoretical analysis this ground-breaking book proposes a new critical approach to energy and environmental security and explores the important role that both local and transnational environmental movements are playing, in the absence of effective and democratic governments, in providing ’activist environmental governance’ for energy projects throughout the region. By comparing the nature of this activism under two very different political regimes it delivers crucial theoretical insights with both academic and policy implications for the sustainable and equitable development of the South’s natural resources.

"Simpson’s overall conclusion (…) provides a wealth of insights, many of them unexpected, into the political principles, ethical commitments and diverse tactics of justice-oriented campaigns led by these 'emancipatory governance groups’ … The book contains a wealth of information on the process-oriented nature of such groups, and the author does an excellent job of situating their activities in the highly complex political, economic and cultural contexts in which they operate (…) The book’s value is not limited to area specialists, however. The author brackets the case studies with a lengthy discussion of the existing literature on activist environmental governance at the start of the book and transnational environmental politics in the global South at its end. Both discussions provide a useful point of departure for future comparative studies." - Ken MacLean, Political Studies Review

Adam Simpson is Director of the Centre for Peace and Security, Hawke Research Institute, and Senior Lecturer in International Studies at the University of South Australia. He is also Adjunct Research Fellow at the Centre for Governance and Public Policy, Griffith University. He was previously Associate Lecturer in International Politics at the University of Adelaide and worked as an analyst with investment banks in the City of London.

Publication year: 2017
294 pp / 229mm x 152mm
3 figures, 6 tables
ISBN: 978-87-7694-207-6, Paperback

NIAS Press