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Last updated October 24, 2022
Created October 24, 2022
Format PDF
License Creative Commons Non-Commercial (Any)
Name U4: Corruption and water governance in the Mekong River Basin

The Mekong River Basin is shared between six countries and displays remarkable and globally relevant cultural and biological diversity. Its natural resources are largely governed by systems in which national and transnational corruption prevail. The countries that share the basin all display varying degrees of authoritarianism, which serve to reinforce these corrupt governance systems, and to determine the choice and type of regional cooperation. These governance systems have clear implications for local communities in terms of food security and production, resettlement and ethnicity, gender, migration, and human rights.

This paper focuses on Cambodia, Lao PDR, and Vietnam (CLV), but also pays close attention to China and Thailand, particularly with regard to transnational corruption. It considers corrupt systems in these countries’ governance of the Mekong and its water resources, and how this corruption affects local communities.

The literature review and interviews for this study identified three major regional ‘hydro-corruption’ domains, in which ‘domains’ are understood to be spheres or activity of knowledge. These are not always mutually exclusive, and some domains will be of greater relevance to some countries and less to others.

Resource's languages
  • English