Borderland practices and narratives: illegal cross-border logging in northeastern Cambodia

Singh, Sarinda (2014) Borderland practices and narratives: illegal cross-border logging in northeastern Cambodia. Ethnography, 15 (2). pp. 135-159.

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In the borderlands of northeastern Cambodia, booming regional demand for luxury rosewood timber has seen the recent expansion of illegal cross-border logging in Laos. This article outlines Khmer–Lao villagers' interactions with border authorities that enable their cross-border logging and their construction of anti-elite political narratives to critically engage with other ethnographic studies of the remote borderlands in Asia. I argue that in the quest to challenge dominant top-down assumptions of the remote borderlands as beyond state power and to highlight the unique dynamics of borderlands, ethnographic studies of these regions can focus overly on political opposition. I propose more recognition of, firstly, the desire and distrust in borderlanders' engagements with different authorities, and secondly, the commonalities in contestation that emerge across different national spaces.

Item ID: 27835
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1741-2714
Keywords: borderland, Khmer-Lao villagers, illegal logging, rosewood, resistance, state authority
Funders: University of Queensland
Date Deposited: 15 May 2015 06:33
FoR Codes: 16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1601 Anthropology > 160104 Social and Cultural Anthropology @ 80%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0599 Other Environmental Sciences > 059999 Environmental Sciences not elsewhere classified @ 20%
SEO Codes: 95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9599 Other Cultural Understanding > 959999 Cultural Understanding not elsewhere classified @ 80%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9699 Other Environment > 969999 Environment not elsewhere classified @ 20%
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