About the Mekong Commons

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The Mekong River in Chiang Khong, Thailand.

The Mekong River at Chiang Khong in the early morning. (Photo by Carl Middleton.)

Welcome to the MekongCommons.org, an independent website created for sharing and discussing critical perspectives on current issues of development, ecology and society in the Mekong Region.

This site aims to examine the questions surrounding the Mekong Region’s development, and to identify new ones. Through interviews, stories, and case studies, we give particular importance to the details of development which are not readily seen. These reveal both the consequences of development that are masked from mainstream explanations, as well as alternatives that are already practiced across the region. To make things easier both for contributors and readers, we have divided the site into these sections:

  • In Deconstructing Development, we explore how development is explained and justified, and how knowledge is used or misused and contested in shaping public decisions on development plans and projects.
  • In Environmental Justice, we consider, how in the name of “development” injustices result to people, their livelihoods, and nature, including who wins and who loses and why.
  • In Better Ways, we share practices, activities, organizations and individuals working on alternative modes of and visions for development that can inspire.
  • Voices of the Next Generation provides a space where young people can share and debate their visions, critical perspectives, experiences, aspirations and inspirations related to development.
  • Finally, Women and the Mekong features both the everyday and the unusual struggles of women as they seek to exert influence and redefine their role in often male-dominated arenas of decision making.

The website is run by a group of researchers, activists, academics and media persons who were motivated by their own work and experiences around society and development in the Mekong Region to come together as a writing and thinking commons and initiate this website.

Submissions are welcome from everyone who has a story to tell about the Mekong Region, its development and its commons. We especially invite young writers, filmmakers and artists to contribute. The website is open to using pen-names for those who wish not to reveal their identities due to sensitive political contexts.

Please see our Author Guidelines for more details. And Mekong Commons welcomes feedback, please contact us if you have any questions, comments or suggestions.

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