Turning Land into Capital
Development and Dispossession in the Mekong Region
- PUBLISHED: August 2022
- SUBJECT LISTING: Anthropology, Asian Studies / Southeast Asia, Environmental Studies
- BIBLIOGRAPHIC INFORMATION: 273 Pages, 6 x 9 in, 2 maps, 5 charts, 3 tables
- SERIES: Culture, Place, and Nature
- ISBN: 9780295750460
In Southeast Asia reversals of earlier agrarian reforms have rolled back "land-to-the-tiller" policies created in the wake of Cold War–era revolutions. This trend, marked by increased land concentration and the promotion of export-oriented agribusiness at the expense of smallholder farmers, exposes the convergence of capitalist relations and state agendas that expand territorial control within and across national borders. Through the lens of land capitalization, Turning Land into Capital examines the contradictions produced by superimposing twenty-first-century neoliberal projects onto diverse landscapes etched by decades of war and state socialism.
Chapters in the book explore geopolitics, legacies of colonialism, ideologies of development, and strategies to achieve land justice in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam. The resulting picture reveals the place-specific interactions of state and market ideologies, regional geopolitics, and local elites in concentrating control over land.
Authors & Contributors
Philip Hirsch is emeritus professor of human geography at the University of Sydney and coauthor of Powers of Exclusion: Land Dilemmas in Southeast Asia. Kevin Woods is a fellow at the East-West Center in Honolulu. Natalia Scurrah is an independent researcher based in Thailand and coauthor of The Mekong: A Sociolegal Approach to River Basin Development. Michael Dwyer is assistant professor of geography at Indiana University Bloomington and author of Upland Geopolitics: Postwar Laos and the Global Land Rush.
A timely contribution to the field of agrarian studies, this book offers an insightful analysis of emerging trends in land use, land ownership, and growing inequality in the Mekong Region.- Jonathan Padwe, University of Hawai'i Mānoa
Turning Land into Capital will inspire additional work by providing close attention to land and agrarian transformation as a lens to illuminate broad political, social, and economic processes shaping and reshaping the region.- Tyrell Haberkorn, University of Wisconsin–Madison