Scholars overwhelmingly adopt the case study method when analyzing causal conditions inducing anti-dam-protests. We have carried out the first medium-N-study on this topic analyzing public opposition to 12 dam projects in Asia. For this purpose, we employ a fuzzy-set Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) which is based on a thorough review of scholarly writings and press reports on the dam projects at question as well as an online survey and semi-structured interviews. We identify two causal recipes sufficient for the emergence of significant anti-dam-protests. First, lacking social safeguards in combination with the presence of political opportunity structures and higher levels of development are sufficient for significant anti-dam-protests to emerge. Second, lacking social safeguards in combination with rampant corruption and environmental risk induce these protests. Current scholarly literature particuarly emphasizes political opportunity structures and development as causal conditions inducing significant protests. Our findings build on this literature to highlight the importance of project-specific conditions.
The full article (13 pages) is available at: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0959378016301273