Horizontal Dynamics in Transactional Activism: The Case of Nu River Anti-Dam Activism in China


The Department of Social Science cordially invites you to join our SSC Research Seminar/ SHSS Transnational Studies Research Seminar:


Horizontal Dynamics in Transactional Activism: The Case of Nu River Anti-Dam Activism in China


Speaker: Dr. Setsuko (Seiko) Matsuzawa (Visiting Scholar of Asian Studies, Department of Social Science, HSUHK and Associate Professor, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, The College of Wooster, USA)
Date: 4 March 2021 (Thursday)
Time: 3:15 p.m. (1 ECA / 1 iGPS)
Mode: Zoom
Medium: English
The Zoom meeting link will be sent to registered participants one day before the seminar.


Since their emergence in the mid-1990s, Chinese environmental NGOs have played key roles in environmental activism. In the early 2000s, they advocated upon politically sensitive issues, such as dams.  A case study of transnational activism against the Nu River hydropower dam plan in Yunnan, China describes a horizontal dynamic in global-local relations, whereas the predominant literature in social movements assumes a vertical or hierarchical conception.  The study examines the forms and operations of transnational activism in order to understand the connectivity of domestic environmental NGOs in China to alliances, venues, and discourses.  It concludes that local activists today should not automatically be viewed as the bottom feeders in a vertical topography, dependent upon global patronage.

Setsuko’s research interests include: Development, Environment, Transnational Activism, and East Asian Societies (China and Japan). She has examined environmental activism, transnational activism, and the effects of donor projects in China. She is currently researching transnational activism surrounding the Thilawa Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in Myanmar, a joint project between the Myanmar and Japanese governments. Her publications include Activating China: Local Actors, Foreign Influence, and State Response and her articles have appeared in Mobilization, Sociology of Development, AsiaNetwork Exchange, the Journal of Asian Women’s Studies (Japan), and the Journal of International Cooperation (Japan), among others.


Please click here for registration.