Energy, Governance and Security in Thailand and Myanmar (Burma)

A Critical Approach to Environmental Politics in the South

Adam Simpson

  • Published:
  • Pages: 336 pp.
  • illustrated
  • Series: NIAS Monographs
  • Series number: 137
Available from NIAS Press worldwide

• Ground-breaking book that proposes a new critical approach to energy and environmental security.
• Describes how environmental movements are providing ’activist environmental governance’ for energy projects in the absence of effective and democratic governments.
• By comparing the nature of environmental activism under two very different political regimes, this book delivers crucial theoretical insights with both academic and policy implications.

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.

author image not supplied

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.

Go to author page

by Ken MacLean
From journal:
Political Studies Review

"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 o

"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."

by Zaw Linn Maung,
From journal:
Asian Politics and Policy

“Energy, Governance and Security in Thailand and Myanmar essentially contributes to the understanding of the nexus between energy security and environmental governance making it a must read for scholars, policymakers, and activists alike.

“Energy, Governance and Security in Thailand and Myanmar essentially contributes to the understanding of the nexus between energy security and environmental governance making it a must read for scholars, policymakers, and activists alike. Among the literature on environmental politics and energy security, Simpson’s framework for the empowerment of emancipatory activism for environmental governance is unique.”

by Jane M. Ferguson
From journal:
Asian Studies Review

"In considering the rapidly changing economies of natural resource extraction in the region, Adam Simpson’s recent book, Energy, Governance and Security in Thailand and Myanmar (Burma), offers useful and much-welcomed new insight in its in-depth presentation of environmental activist issues and networks.

"In considering the rapidly changing economies of natural resource extraction in the region, Adam Simpson’s recent book, Energy, Governance and Security in Thailand and Myanmar (Burma), offers useful and much-welcomed new insight in its in-depth presentation of environmental activist issues and networks.

(…) the book has significant utility for students of environmental movements in Mainland Southeast Asia and of the interconnection of resource extraction and energy demands in the region. The book is also a useful resource for testing political models in relation to social movements on the ground. Particularly useful are the case studies of the transnational energy projects, since their scope inherently demands a multi-scalar approach."

by Holly Grant
From journal:
The Journal of Peasant Studies

"The book showcases the breadth and depth of Simpson’s research into environmentalism in Thailand and Myanmar, and provides a wealth of empirical data regarding environmental campaigns.

"The book showcases the breadth and depth of Simpson’s research into environmentalism in Thailand and Myanmar, and provides a wealth of empirical data regarding environmental campaigns. (…) Simpson presents the historical and contemporary environmental politics of Thailand and Myanmar in impressive, fine-grained detail … This ambitious book illuminates many paths for future empirical research and theoretical debate (…)"

by Michael Connors,
From journal:
International Affairs

“This is a book from which one can learn much.

“This is a book from which one can learn much. It combines a number of theoretical and thematic literatures-critical environmental studies, regime typology, social movement analysis-to appraise how campaigns against big energy projects in Thailand and Myanmar (Burma) might be conceived as emancipatory politics (…) In keeping with the spirit of critical security studies, Simpson wants a reversal: to make the referent of security those impacted by big energy projects, rather than the states which claim energy is needed for their national interest in uncertain global times … this is scholarship inspired by the daily grind of struggle of those who want to make that reversal real (…) The book achieves this reversal by impressive research, including multi-country field-work and scores of interviews that enable the recounting of campaigns against four energy projects (…)”

by Tim Forsyth
From journal:
Environmental Politics

"This interesting book contributes to the environment and development literature in two key ways. It presents a fine-grained analysis of the background, politics, and challenges concerning energy and local development in Thailand and Myanmar (Burma).

"This interesting book contributes to the environment and development literature in two key ways. It presents a fine-grained analysis of the background, politics, and challenges concerning energy and local development in Thailand and Myanmar (Burma). It also develops an approach within political ecology that considers the politics of local and international activism, and their contributions to governance (…) This is a valuable and informative book that should be read by scholars of Southeast Asia and environmental activism … It compares local and transnational activism … and provides valuable analysis of how different strategies and contexts provide opportunities for influencing authoritarian regimes."

by Matthew Walton
From journal:
Journal of Contemporary Asia

‘Adam Simpson’s new book comprehensively presents some of the most prominent recent environmental campaigns in Myanmar and Thailand while also contributing theoretically to the study of environmental movements under different political regimes and developing the concept of emancipatory environmental activism.

‘Adam Simpson’s new book comprehensively presents some of the most prominent recent environmental campaigns in Myanmar and Thailand while also contributing theoretically to the study of environmental movements under different political regimes and developing the concept of emancipatory environmental activism. (…) an exceptionally versatile book (…) highly recommended as an excellent study in an emerging field that will be of increasing importance as large-scale energy projects (and opposition to them) continue to spread across the region.’

Ordering information

Close Menu
×
×

Cart