Origins and Evolution of Environmental Policies
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Origins and Evolution of Environmental Policies

State, Time and Regional Experiences

Edited by Tadayoshi Terao and Tsuruyo Funatsu

This unique book traces the origins and evolution of environmental policy formation, comparing the differences in this process between developing and developed countries. It focuses on the importance of the state’s role and issues of timing and sequence in the creation of environmental policies.
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Chapter 6: Compulsion to maintain: water and state power in Southeast Asia

Jin Sato


What does the control of water tell us about dynamic aspects of governance that contribute to state formation? What are the conditions that prompt states to maintain control over resources? Drawing on examples from Southeast Asia, this chapter explores the impact of state power on the quality of life of people in the context of irrigation. I argue that the technical requirements of water distribution determine the nature of mutual reliance between the state and local communities - a relationship that has often been framed as confrontational.

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