“We the various races” : Developing Role theory: The Bakun dam case
Sammanfattning: This descriptive essay aims to develop constructivist Role theory. Specifically, it examines the potential of applying role analysis to a case of two types of actors; marginalized citizens and their state decision makers. There has previously been little role analysis applied to domestic political settings, as opposed to internationally between states. Therefore, research has been encouraged in this area. The selected empirical case is the controversial Bakun hydroelectric dam project in Sarawak, Malaysian Borneo. It involves the resettlement of the marginalized indigenous Orang Ulu people and is driven by the Sarawak state government. By analyzing the role conceptions and norms of these actors, together with the concept of power, a new perspective on their relationship is developed. The successful application of Role theory in this new setting and case is a contributing point of the study. The role analysis is conducted using a qualitative critical text analysis method; an analytical framework is established with which the actors’ roles are retrieved from the text material. The results are then analyzed, and the conclusion of the case study is that the actors have incoherent conceptions of their roles and norms, leading to a conflict between the two in which the government has the upper hand due to (illegitimate) power structures.
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