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Dr. Harry Verhoeven, 2012 ACUNS Summer Workshop participant,  was selected as one of ten finalists in the Global Water Forum’s Emerging Scholars Award, judged from around 800 entries on the themes of ‘water security’, ‘water economics’, and ‘transboundary water governance’.  The Award called for early-career scholars and practitioners working in water-related fields to publish an article that presents their research, project, or opinion to a global audience. The articles were judged by water researchers from the Australian National University.

Harry’s article ‘Big is beautiful: Megadams, African water security, and China’s role in the new global political economy’ looks at the role of dams in development and energy production at a global scale. It argues that the increasing reliance on megadams to fuel development and secure energy, led by China, fails to take into account their ecological impacts. He concludes that while large dams may be alluring to Chinese investors and African regimes, “their long-term contribution to water security in the climate change era remains deeply questionable”.

You can read Harry’s article, as well as the other finalists’ entries on the Global Water Forum’s website.

Harry Verhoeven is a post-doctoral researcher at the Department of Politics and International Relations, teaches African Politics, and is the Convenor of the Oxford University China-Africa Network.