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Dr. Oliver Hensengerth

Senior Lecturer in Politics

Department: Social Sciences

Oliver joined Northumbria University's Department of Social Sciences in January 2012.

Oliver Hensengerth

Oliver joined Northumbria University's Department of Social Sciences in January 2012. Before joining Northumbria, he worked for the Universities of Southampton, Warwick and Essex and won a 2-year post-doc fellowship (Transatlantic Postdoc Fellowship for International Relations and Security) hosted by SAIS/Johns Hopkins University in Washington DC, IEEI Lisbon, and Chatham House London. Oliver also conducted consulting work for a UK-based NGO and for Germany’s GIZ. He works on water governance, transboundary water cooperation, flooding, and environmental and social questions in (Chinese) hydropower investment. His geographical interest is in China, continental Southeast Asia, the Mekong River Basin, Cambodia, Vietnam and Ghana. 

Northumbria Centre for International Development

Campus Address

Lipman 312
City Campus

0191 227 4267


2006 PhD, Regionalism and Foreign Policy: Institution-Building in the Greater Mekong Subregion, University of Leeds, Department of East Asian Studies
2002 MA, University of Leeds, Department of East Asian Studies

Research Themes and Scholarly Interests

Topics: norm diffusion, translation, localisation; institutional change; environmental and resource politics; transboundary water cooperation; hydropower

Regional focus: China, Cambodia, continental Southeast Asia, Mekong River Basin

Current/Recent Projects

  1. Recent projects:
  • Royal Academy of Engineering - Newton Research Collaboration Programme (2/2017-01/2018), grant jointly held with Dr Nguyen Thi Lan Huong, Water Resources University, Vietnam: Soft engineering approaches to disaster risk reduction: A case study on flood management in the Mekong River Delta in Vietnam (£19,533.00).
  • GCRF NERC-ESRC-AHRB Building Resilience Grant (11/2016-07/2017): Building REsilience to Multi-source Flooding in Southeast/South Asia through a Technology-informed Community-based approacH (REMATCH) (£197,612, Co-I and work package lead. Project led by Newcastle University)
  • Newton Fund Mobility Grant (09/2015-08/2016, NG150072): Proactively Living with Floods: Developing New Approaches to Flood Management in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta (£9.900, PI)
  • British Academy International Partnership and Mobility Scheme: One-Year UK-Taiwan partnership (2012-2013, PM120039): Institutional Reforms and the Effects on Civil Society Groups: A Comparison of the Emergence of Environmental Organisations in China and Taiwan (£10.000, PI)
  • British Academy Small Research Grant (2011-2012, SG111140): Institutionalising Environmental Norms for Large Dams: The Case of the Mekong River Commission (£2.480, PI)
  • German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development: Anchor Countries and Global Water Governance: How Global Norms Reach Local Decision-Makers (2008-2010, EUR284.950, Co-I. Project led by Dr Waltina Scheumann, German Development Institute)

2. Consultancy

  • German Development Cooperation (GIZ), Mekong River Commission Office: Training Manual Transboundary Hydropower Development (with Diana Nenz, Adelphi Research Berlin, and Aaron Wolf, Oregon State University) (2013)
  • German Development Cooperation (GIZ), Mekong River Commission Office: Assessment of RBO-Level Mechanisms for Sustainable Hydropower Development and Management (with Annika Kramer and Anja Mertens, Adelphi Research, Berlin) (2012)
  • German Development Cooperation (GIZ): Benefit Sharing Mechanisms in Transboundary Water Management and their Application in Bi- and Multinational Dam Projects (with Ines Dombrowski and Waltina Scheumann, German Development Institute, Bonn) (2011-2012)


Key Publications

Hensengerth, O. (2018) ‘South-South technology transfer: who benefits? A case study of the Chinese-built Bui dam in Ghana.’ Energy Policy, 114, pp. 499-507.

Hensengerth, O. and Lu, Y. (2018) ‘Emerging environmental multilevel governance in China? Environmental protests, public participation and local institution-building,’ Public Policy and Administration, online pre-publication, DOI: 10.1177/0952076717753279.

Hensengerth, O. (2017) ‘Regionalism, identity and hydropower dams: the case of the Chinese-built Lower Sesan 2 dam in Cambodia,’ Journal of Current Chinese Affairs, 46 (3), pp. 85-118.

Hensengerth, O. (2017) ‘Place attachment and community resistance: evidence from the Cheay Areng and Lower Sesan 2 dams in Cambodia,’in Suhardiman, D., Nicol, A. and Mapedza, E. (eds.) Water Governance andCollective Action: Multi-scale Challenges. Abingdon: Earthscan/Routledge, pp.58-69.

Hensengerth, O. (2017) ‘China’s investment in Africanhydropower: how to govern the water-energy-nexus? Evidence from the Bui dam in Ghana,’ in Siciliano, G. and Urban, F. (eds.) Chinese hydropower development in Africa and Asia: challenges and opportunities for sustainable global dam-building. Abingdon: Routledge, pp. 35-52.

Hensengerth, O. (2016) ‘Water governance in the Mekong Basin: scalar trade offs, transnational norms, and Chinese hydropower investment,’in Nyíri, P. and Tan, D. (eds.) Chinese encounters in Southeast Asia: how people, money and ideas from China are changing a region. Seattle: University of Washington Press, pp. 174-191.

Hensengerth, O. (2015) ‘Where is the power? Transnational networks, authority and the dispute over the Xayaburi Dam on the Lower Mekong Mainstream,’ Water International, 40 (5-6), pp. 911-928.

Hensengerth, O. (2015) ‘Global norms in domestic politics:environmental norm contestation in Cambodia’s hydropower sector.’ The Pacific Review, 28 (4), pp. 505-528.

To view my Northumbria Research Link page click here


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