I. Fast Finance: Who Gives a Dam? (Working Project Title)
This book manuscript, an outgrowth of my dissertation, examines comparative electricity sector reform in East and Southeast Asia as a prism for understanding variation in processes and trajectories of liberalization. The project uniquely engages with the international political economy of electricity sector reform, focusing on the dynamics of asymmetric south-south engagement within and between East and Southeast Asian cases. Based on over 15 months of original fieldwork in Lao PDR, it features additional primary and historical work in Myanmar and Cambodia, forming a comparative historical study of contemporary late development in the Mekong’s poorest and least developed contexts. The manuscript contributes to the wider field by providing vitally understudied borrower country perspectives from Mekong CLM cases. The research highlights the political economy nexus between electricity sector reform and financial and banking liberalization. It traces variation in institutional and historical trajectories of Mekong CLM cases and their relative interaction with OECD and alternative non-OECD private-public-partnership (PPP) arrangements. I provide an explanatory typology for why different models of development finance find uptake or rejection in different types of cases and compare north-south and south-south PPP arrangements. The project sheds light on the contemporary alternative asymmetric south-south lending and changing regimes of development finance viewed from below. The manuscript is framed for an East/Southeast/Asian studies as well as comparative politics audience.
II. Explorations at the Crypto-Energy Nexus
What factors, ideologies and circumstances shape development policy decisions around the adoption or sanctioning of blockchain technologies by state governments? This project utilizes ethnography, remote-sensing, and machine-learning methods to triangulate data at the interface of energy and blockchain systems in developing country contexts as it seeks to understand how, when, and why some developing country governments turn to web 3.0 innovations, particularly in the context of fiscal crises and emergencies.
III. The New Global Politics of Export-Finance Regimes
This book project is focused towards international political economy, economic diplomacy, international relations and development studies audiences to explicitly compare and discuss contending regimes of export and development finance. Its central contribution is to update and bring the study of 20th century international export and development finance into the 21st century, providing a theoretical framework and concepts for analyzing and discussing processes with relation to new actors, landscapes and the overriding influence of capital markets. The manuscript builds off insights and data accumulated in my doctoral and post-doctoral research and unites Asian and African case studies collected over my post-doctoral work.
The project furthermore examines the environmental politics of competing project finance modalities between G7 and G5 economies. I seek to better understand the role of the banking sector and comparative bond markets in advanced and emerging market economies in fostering better or worse environmental governance outcomes in project lending. How do comparative financial drivers in the age of ‘greening markets’ serve to enable distant investors to engage in risky, dirty, dangerous and brutal environmental practices while legitimating these interventions on developmental and carbon-saving grounds? How might better environmental standards be ‘socialized’ and institutionalized between and across G7 and G5 members?
Souvannaseng, P. (Forthcoming, 2022) ‘Evidence-based Policymaking’ or Epistemic Manufacturing? US-China Geopolitics, Politicized Water Scholarship and the Fight for Narrative Control Along the Mekong. Washington DC: Woodrow Wilson Center, Spring.
Souvannaseng, P. (Forthcoming, 2022) ‘Chinese Adaptive Politics in the Mekong: Sino-Strategies of Engagement & Alliance-building in Lao PDR’ Carnegie Endowment for International Peace ‘Local/Global’ Working Paper Series, Washington DC: CEIP
Souvannaseng, P. (For Submission, Spring 2022) ‘Institutional Poaching: Sub-Regional Rivalry and the Politics of Parallel Governance Building Along the Mekong’
Souvannaseng, P. (For Submission, Spring 2022) ‘Blending or Banking Towards ‘Bankability’? Comparative Sino-OECD Export Finance Regimes, Divergent Risk Appetites and the Blurring of Trade and Development in the Global Infrastructure Market’
Souvannaseng, P. (For Submission, Spring 2022) Disaster by Financial Design: Boondoggles, Submersed Stakeholders & the Political Economy of Dam Failure in Lao PDR [presented at APSA 2021]
Souvannaseng, P. (In Progress) Post-Socialism the Mekong Way: Sino-Investment in CLMV; for submission to International Journal of Comparative Sociology
Souvannaseng, P. (In Progress) Infrastructure as Asset or Public Good? Financializing Hydropower in the Developing World
Souvannaseng, P. (In Progress) Fast Finance: Searching for Patient Lending in an Impatient World
Tenkorang, E., Enu-Kwesi, F., Bendu, F., & Souvannaseng, P. (2022) ‘Evolving lending regimes and the political economy of dam financing in Ghana’. FutureDAMSWorking Paper 18, Manchester: University of Manchester.
J. & Markannen S., Plummer, J. & Souvannaseng, P (2020) ‘Mapping the evolving complexity of large hydropower project finance in low and lower-middle income countries’ Green Finance 2 (2), 151