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This chapter examines hydropower development on Southwest China’s Nu River. Drawing on the notion of the moral economy, I illustrate how different constituent groups—including government agencies and hydropower corporations, nongovernmental organizations, and communities facing displacement and resettlement—view the issue of dam development and attempt to shape policy outcomes. Government policy and rhetoric emphasize the need to develop alternative energy sources to decrease reliance on fossil fuels amid continued economic growth requiring a greater energy supply. However, hydropower development entails the displacement and resettlement of thousands of people belonging to historically marginalized groups who stand to lose access to the agricultural land that supports their livelihoods. This raises key questions about rural property rights regimes and the new ways in which local farming households and communities are brought into the sphere of the market economy as the nation moves away from Marxist and Maoist ideals.

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