Rural communities, physical landscapes and social relations have been deeply transformed in countries in Southeast Asia by the effects of the global land rush. The surge of initiatives around industrial development, hydropower projects, monocrop commercial plantations, mining and conservation has given way to a process of appropriation of land and natural resources unprecedented in scale, speed and scope. This has been underwritten by a favourable environment of neoliberal market-driven reforms, trade policies and investment flows that are the expression of the fast-track development model embraced by most countries in the region, including Cambodia and Myanmar. Today, the climate change agenda and the commitments to reduce emissions have created the conditions for an expanded menu of land and resource grabs justified in the name of the environmental good, so-called ‘green grabs’. Southeast Asia has thus become a “core region of concern in land grab studies”. This body of work has also begun to integrate gender and, to a lesser extent, generational perspectives in analyses of agrarian and environmental transformations, advancing a more nuanced understanding of the impacts of land grabs. However, to date literature in these areas remains limited, while, as in land grabs studies, ‘local people’ and ‘local communities’ are often assumed to be homogeneous groups of people with similar interests, identities and aspirations. This has not only severe analytical limitations but also political implications. Building on feminist political economy and with feminist political ecology as the overarching intellectual and political project, this thesis contributes to furthering the understanding of the implications of land grab in Southeast Asia with an analysis of gendered and ‘generationed’ patterns of rural dispossession, incorporation and political reactions from below with empirical evidence from Cambodia and Myanmar. The thesis also aims to make the case for centring gender and generations into the politics of land grabs and argues that there can be no real social justice if attention is not paid to everyday struggles in diverse contexts and without a commitment to changing power relations that perpetuate social injustices.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Gender, generation, agrarian change, land grabs, environment, social justice, Myanmar, Cambodia, feminist political ecology
Promotor S.M. Borras jr. (Saturnino) , W. Harcourt (Wendy)
Publisher Erasmus University Rotterdam
ISBN 978-90-6490-099-0
Persistent URL
Series ISS PhD Theses
Park, C.M.Y. (2019, February 28). Gender, generation and agrarian change: Cases from Myanmar and Camodia. ISS PhD Theses. Erasmus University Rotterdam. Retrieved from