The attention recently granted to the Grand Renaissance dam in Ethiopia, costing more than $4.3bn, forming Africa’s largest hydroelectric plant and raising controversy with Egypt over access to the waters of the river Nile poses anew some questions of geopolitical economy surrounding multipurpose dam construction. There is no better way to learn about such issues than to explore similar, but also specific, in depth studies on social movement struggle in contesting and resisting large-scale built-environment projects. With that aim in mind, my attention here turns to one of the most significant books to appear recently on struggles over dispossession and resistance, focusing on the series of dams constituting the Sardar Sarovar Project (SSP) in the Narmada Valley, India, and social movement processes in struggling against exploitation, displacement, and everyday violence.

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