Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

William Ascher

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The ecosystems of the Mekong River in Southeast Asia are experiencing significant disruption as a result of climate change and the accelerated development of hydropower infrastructure that has occurred within the region over the past several decades. The degradation of the Mekong’s natural functions threatens the immense productivity of the river both with regard to its fish stock and the delivery of vital sediment to agricultural sites. This thesis examines how and why the Mekong River Commission (MRC), established jointly in 1995 by the governments of Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam, has failed to ensure the sustainable development of the Mekong, arguing that competing institutions and unstable regional politics have prevented the MRC from becoming an effective institution for the trans-boundary governance of the river. This thesis argues that the MRC must be remade with a legally binding framework in order to fill the role for which it was created.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.