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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.
Sneddon, C. In Press. Concrete Revolution: The Bureau of Reclamation, Cold War Geopolitics and Large Dams. Chicago: University of Chicago Press (expected September 2015).
Sneddon, C. 2013. “Water, governance and hegemony.” In Harris, L., Goldin, J. and C. Sneddon (eds) Contemporary Water Governance in the Global South: Scarcity, Marketization and Participation. New York: Routledge, pp. 13-24.
Sneddon, C. 2012. The “Sinew of Development”: Cold War geopolitics, technological expertise and river alteration in Southeast Asia, 1954-1975. Social Studies of Science 42(4):564-590.
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.