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Path dependency of infrastructure: Implications for the sanitation system of Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Stockholm University, Stockholm Resilience Centre.
2009 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 40 credits / 60 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Phnom Penh’s sanitation system is a combination of the drainage system and sewage system.Storm water, household wastewater, and industrial wastewater all flow together out of the city tothe detriment of the natural environment and the humans that depend on it. This continuedpersistence of an inefficient and harmful system is explored using path dependency theory. Pathdependency constrains the system to linear development and reflects the historical context inwhich decisions were made. Phnom Penh’s sanitation system is used to exemplify components ofpath dependence and their effect on implementing change.To incorporate room for change into Phnom Penh’s sanitation system, the inherent longevity inbuilt infrastructure must be overcome. Building infrastructure is expensive and the learning andcoordination that is associated with it is not easily replaced. The social context is ultimatelyresponsible for the investments made and the type of system expressed. Phnom Penh’s sanitationsystem reflects a historical legacy of colonial rule, decades of war, political chaos, and an influxof international aid contributing to an inefficient system being developed. The presence ofunpredictability and inflexibility in the system can result in an inefficient system being sustained.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. , 31 p.
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-41254OAI: diva2:329209
Life Earth Science
Available from: 2010-07-08 Created: 2010-07-08 Last updated: 2010-07-08Bibliographically approved

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