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HydropoliticsThe Itaipu Dam, Sovereignty, and the Engineering of Modern South America$
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Christine Folch

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780691186603

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691186603.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM PRINCETON SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.princeton.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Princeton University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in PRSO for personal use.date: 17 May 2022

Introduction

Introduction

Chapter:
(p.1) Introduction
Source:
(p.iii) Hydropolitics
Author(s):

Christine Folch

Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691186603.003.0001

This chapter gives a background on politics via water. It talks about Hydropolitics, the political economy that comes from an industrialization and electrification powered by water. It uncovers how it comes to matter to politics within Paraguay that the electricity that powers homes and factories comes from hydro, not fossil fuels. To untangle how energy can be simultaneously technological and sociopolitical, this chapter explains that people's relationship to the environment is a form of cultural production, which, in turn, inflects political, economic, and social structures. Understanding the dam requires the dual intervention of political ecology, which analyzes both how human interventions shape environment and how the shaping of nature in turn affects human communities. Itaipú has presented the Brazilian and Paraguayan governments the ability to achieve multiple political goals and has had far-reaching cascade effects. What Itaipú Dam has done is to turn the Paraná River under its influence into a political-electrical machine, an engineered complex of geological objects, atmospheric cycles, and cement intrusions.

Keywords:   Hydropolitics, industrialization, electrification, fossil fuel, dual intervention, political ecology, human intervention, Itaipú Dam

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