Date of Award


Document Type

Honors Thesis (Colby Access Only)


Colby College. Global Studies Program


Philip J. Nyhus

Second Advisor

Ben Fallaw

Third Advisor

Sahan Dissanayake


The proposed Garabí and Panambí hydroelectric dams represent the most current plan for the expansion of hydropower along the segment of the Uruguay River that flows between Argentina and Brazil. My research investigates how communities along the Uruguay River in Misiones, Argentina are responding to government-supported hydroelectric development initiatives. Specifically, I examine potential factors limiting citizen participation in the anti-dam mobilization, even among those residents who share serious concerns about the harmful impacts of the dams. This study explores how proximity to the proposed dam sites, available radio programming, and key economic dependencies influence varying political awareness and motivations for dam opposition. Analyzing the shared sentiments of political fear, distrust, and learned helplessness observed by my interviewees, I then argue that the manner in which the people of Misiones view their citizenship and its accompanying rights dramatically shapes how they respond to grievances surrounding the Garabí-Panambí hydroelectric plans. Finally, I evaluate how the structure and strategies of the prominent anti-dam organization within Misiones, La Mesa Provincial No a las Represas, present barriers to greater river community mobilization.


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Argentina, Misiones, dams, citizenship, Garabí, Mesa Provincial No a Las Represas