Human Rights-Based Approaches to Development in Contexts of Dam Dispossession
Informed by a critical interpretive methodology, this case study is a critical exploration of how International Rivers utilizes HRBA to development including human rights education (HRE) in contexts of development dispossession by big dam projects in Asia, Africa and the Americas. Staff members of International Rivers based both in the United States and at one of their regional offices were interviewed, and secondary documentation and materials produced by IR were analyzed. Relying primarily on select neo-Marxist concepts and analytical critiques of a human rights politics and the globalization of capitalism, the study demonstrates the contradictions and limits, if not the complicity, of HRBA to addressing dam related development dispossession in neocolonial regions by INGOs such as International Rivers. The emergent critique has implications for how INGOs use these approaches, including HRE and praxis, in contexts of development dispossession in these regions, and contributes towards the growing body of empirical and critical analytical literature on human rights, human rights education, capital and development dispossession, especially by mega dam projects.