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De-centring Land Grabbing

Southeast Asia Perspectives on Agrarian-Environmental Transformations

Peter Vandergeest Laura Schoenberger



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30 June 2020
Land rights; Human geography
Southeast Asia has been portrayed as a key site in the global land grab. Featuring leading scholars in the field, this collection critically examines the nature and extent of land grabbing in Southeast Asia, and seeks to locate this phenomena in broader agrarian and environmental transitions (AET). The individual contributions suggest that there is little evidence of a global land grab in Southeast Asia, but that over the last ten years the surge of plantations and processes of land grabbing has been a key feature in the region. The collection considers how broader AET processes may be brought more clearly into focus by decentring land grabbing, including consideration of its absence as well presence. The diversity of cases in this collection coalesces around the productive tension in land grab studies between global capitalist processes on the one hand, and context-specificity and contingent motivations fuelling the expansion of large-scale plantations for oil palm, rubber, cassava and other cash crops, on the other hand. The contributors further broaden the entry points to consider cross-sectoral AET processes such as enclosures for mining, conservation and hydropower and explore the contingencies that help to maintain smallholder production.

The chapters originally published as a special issue in The Journal of Peasant Studies.
Edited by:   Peter Vandergeest, Laura Schoenberger
Imprint:   Routledge
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 246mm,  Width: 174mm, 
Weight:   454g
ISBN:   9780367519520
ISBN 10:   0367519526
Series:   Critical Agrarian Studies
Pages:   280
Publication Date:   30 June 2020
Audience:   College/higher education ,  Further / Higher Education ,  A / AS level
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Peter Vandergeest is a Professor of Geography at York University, Canada. His research over the past 30 years has focused on agrarian and environmental transformations in Southeast Asia, and has encompassed attention to forests, agriculture, aquaculture and, most recently, fisheries. Laura Schoenberger is a PhD candidate in the Department of Geography at York University, Canada. Her research interests are in political ecology, agrarian transformations, state power, conflict and land. She is currently completing her dissertation on land control and property formation in the context of large-scale land acquisitions and recent state efforts to redistribute land in Cambodia.

Reviews for De-centring Land Grabbing: Southeast Asia Perspectives on Agrarian-Environmental Transformations

'It provides a welcome and valuable contribution to the field of agrarian studies by nuancing and regionalising discussions of land grabbing in ways that contextualize the prevailing analysis, moving beyond the meta-narrative of the global land grab that plagued initial conceptualizations of the phenomenon... De-centring Land Grabbing is a highly valuable contribution to the debates and literature on land grabbing. It is a much-needed correction to the universal abstractions of the global land grab narrative, grounding it in the regional and local dynamics of Southeast Asia that shape how land grabs actually materialize and generate agrarian-environmental change.' Miles Kenney-Lazar, Department of Geography, National University of Singapore

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