Christopher S. Sneddon

Academic Appointments
  • Chair of Geography

  • Professor of Geography and Environmental Studies

My research and teaching interests come together around the question of how to reconcile human activities with the long-term resilience and vulnerability of ecological systems. Most of my work has focused on human uses of water and, in particular, on the transformation of river basins due to large-scale development. Much of this research has focused on "third world" settings in the twentieth century-e.g., the Mekong River Basin-but has applications to a variety of historical and geographical contexts. One of my primary interests is analysis of social conflicts over water, and a current project (working with colleagues in Dartmouth's Geography Department) examines the social dimensions of dam removal in New England. At a theoretical level, I draw inspiration from ongoing discussions in political ecology, ecological theory, concepts of power, how to think about geographical scale, and ideas regarding nature-society relations. I recently completed a book titled Concrete Revolution: Large Dams, Cold War Geopolitics, and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation published by the University of Chicago Press and due for release in September 2015. At Dartmouth, I teach courses on political ecology, nature-society relations, qualitative research methods, the geopolitics of development, the envrionmental politics of Southeast Asia, and environmental history.

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Fairchild 123
HB 6017


  • B.S. University of Wisconsin
  • M.S. University of Michigan
  • Ph.D. University of Minnesota

Selected Publications

  • Sneddon, C., Magilligan, F. J., & Fox, C. A. 2017. Science of the Dammed: Expertise and Knowledge Claims in Contested Dam Removals. Water Alternatives, 10(3):677-696.

  • Fox, C., Magilligan, F., and C. Sneddon. 2016. “You kill the dam, you are killing a part of me”: Dam removal and the environmental politics of river restoration. Geoforum 70:93-104.

  • Sneddon, C. 2015. Concrete Revolution: Large Dams, Cold War Geopolitics, and the US Bureau of Reclamation. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

  • Sneddon, C. and C. Fox. 2012. Inland capture fisheries and large river systems: A political economy of Mekong fisheries. Journal of Agrarian Change 12(2/3):279-299.

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