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Weger Jacob | Writing-Up Fellow
2020-09-15 - 2021-03-14 | Research area: Sustainability Research
Delta Variations: Politics of Translation in the Governance of Climate Change Adaptation in the Mekong Delta, Vietnam

Understanding how climate adaptation practices shape the evolution of deltaic landscapes requires attention to historical trajectories as well as activities in the present. Two dissertation chapters that address these issues will be completed in the course of the KLI project, as well as a concluding chapter. Chapter 2 draws on historical and scientific literature, as well as original archival and ethnographic research, to describe changing approaches to water management and economic development in the Mekong Delta from the pre-colonial period to the present, including the recent emergence of climate adaptation as the guiding development paradigm in the Delta. The chapter pays special attention to the influence of infrastructural and institutional path dependencies on contemporary development priorities and constraints. Chapter 5 uses ethnographic data from livelihood surveys, semi-structured interviews, and participant observation in a coastal province of the Delta to examine the land-use decisions of farmers as they translate outside information, local knowledge, material conditions, and subjective priorities into the ongoing production of their lived environment. Chapter 6 summarizes the dissertation and reflects on implications of the research.