Christopher S. Sneddon

Academic Appointments

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 settings in the tricontinental world during 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 recent project (working with colleagues in Dartmouth's Geography Department) examines the social dimensions of river restoration involving dam removals in New England. At a theoretical level, I draw inspiration from ongoing discussions in political ecology, ecological theory, concepts of power, science and technology studies, and ideas regarding nature-society relations. I completed in 2015 book titled Concrete Revolution: Large Dams, Cold War Geopolitics, and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation published by the University of Chicago Press. 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, Room 125
HB 6017


Environmental Studies


The John Sloan Dickey Center for International Understanding


  • 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. 2021. Peopling the environmental state: River restoration and state power. Annals of the American Association of Geographers. DOI: 10.1080/24694452.2021.1913089.

  • Fox, C. A., and Sneddon, C. S. 2019. Political Borders, Epistemological Boundaries, and Contested Knowledges: Constructing Dams and Narratives in the Mekong River Basin. Water, 11(3), 413.

  • 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.

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