Environing Infrastructure: Communities, Ecologies, and China’s “Green” Development in Contemporary Southeast Asia
Project Director and Principal Investigator: Dr. Alessandro Rippa
Environing Infrastructure: Communities, Ecologies, and China’s “Green” Development in Contemporary Southeast Asia is a five-year research project (2020-2025) funded by the Volkswagen Foundation. It is carried out by a team of three researchers based at the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society, LMU Munich. It focuses on the environmental components of Chinese large-scale infrastructure development in Southeast Asia.
Southeast Asia, a major target for Chinese investments, is on the brink of numerous ecological crises. There is rising awareness across the region of the potentially devastating environmental impact of Chinese infrastructure projects. On the other hand, China is a crucial economic partner and a model of development.
Environing Infrastructure studies these dynamics by engaging with local communities and Chinese planners through long-term, comparative ethnographic research. Rooted in Social Anthropology and the Environmental Humanities, it explores the nexus of infrastructure development, local ecologies, and China's "green" framing of its global ambitions.