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      Policies, Political-Economy, and Swidden in Southeast Asia

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          Abstract

          For centuries swidden was an important farming practice found across the girth of Southeast Asia. Today, however, these systems are changing and sometimes disappearing at a pace never before experienced. In order to explain the demise or transitioning of swidden we need to understand the rapid and massive changes that have and are occurring in the political and economic environment in which these farmers operate. Swidden farming has always been characterized by change, but since the onset of modern independent nation states, governments and markets in Southeast Asia have transformed the terms of swiddeners’ everyday lives to a degree that is significantly different from that ever experienced before. In this paper we identified six factors that have contributed to the demise or transformation of swidden systems, and support these arguments with examples from China (Xishuangbanna), Laos, Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia. These trends include classifying swiddeners as ethnic minorities within nation-states, dividing the landscape into forest and permanent agriculture, expansion of forest departments and the rise of conservation, resettlement, privatization and commoditization of land and land-based production, and expansion of market infrastructure and the promotion of industrial agriculture. In addition we note a growing trend toward a transition from rural to urban livelihoods and expanding urban-labor markets.

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          Primitive accumulation, accumulation by dispossession, accumulation by ‘extra-economic’ means

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            Coercing conservation?

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              Genealogies of the Political Forest and Customary Rights in Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand

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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                FoxJ@EastWestCenter.org
                yayoi@uchicago.edu
                dimbab@ieas.unimas.edu
                npeluso@nature.berkeley.edu
                lesley.potter@anu.edu.au
                N.Sakuntaladewi@cgiar.org
                sturgeon@sfu.ca
                thomas2@loxinfo.co.th
                Journal
                Hum Ecol Interdiscip J
                Human Ecology
                Springer US (Boston )
                0300-7839
                1572-9915
                19 May 2009
                June 2009
                : 37
                : 3
                : 305-322
                Affiliations
                [1 ]East-West Center, Honolulu, HI USA
                [2 ]Department of Anthropology, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL USA
                [3 ]Faculty of Social Science, University Malaysia Sarawak, Sarawak, Malaysia
                [4 ]Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA USA
                [5 ]Department of Human Geography, Australian National University, Canberra, Australia
                [6 ]World Agroforestry Center, Bogor, Indonesia
                [7 ]Department of Geography, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada
                [8 ]World Agroforestry Center, Chiang Mai University, Chiang Mai, Thailand
                Article
                9240
                10.1007/s10745-009-9240-7
                2709851
                19609457
                a3164b7d-e307-4693-8a22-b9dd133f11e7
                © The Author(s) 2009
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                © Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

                Ecology
                political ecology,swidden,policies,political economy,southeast asia
                Ecology
                political ecology, swidden, policies, political economy, southeast asia

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