The Asian Development Bank and the production of poverty: neoliberalism, technocratic modernization and land dispossession in the Greater Mekong Subregion

Sims, Kearrin (2015) The Asian Development Bank and the production of poverty: neoliberalism, technocratic modernization and land dispossession in the Greater Mekong Subregion. Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography, 36 (1). pp. 112-126.

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Abstract

In 1992 the Asian Development Bank coordinated a meeting between government representatives from China, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam to discuss regional economic integration. From that meeting the Greater Mekong Subregion was formed to promote peace and prosperity within the Mekong countries. Yet, despite more than more than USD 14 billion being spent on facilitating trade, development and infrastructural ties between these nations, poverty remains widespread. This article provides a critical analysis of the Asian Development Bank and its approach to development and poverty alleviation within the Greater Mekong Subregion. It suggests that the institution’s technocratic neoliberal development ideology provides a discursive legitimation to processes of displacement and dispossession that has seen the production of new forms of poverty. To make this argument, the article draws on an ethnographic study of the local-scale implications of forced resettlement at the Luang Prabang Airport. It conducts an analysis of how the Asian Development Bank defines and measures poverty, and critiques the institution’s resettlement guidelines for the airport project.

Item ID: 46949
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1467-9493
Keywords: Asian Development Bank, development, displacement, Greater Mekong Subregion, Laos, neoliberalism
Date Deposited: 27 Jan 2017 03:36
FoR Codes: 16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1601 Anthropology > 160101 Anthropology of Development @ 40%
16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1604 Human Geography > 160401 Economic Geography @ 30%
16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1606 Political Science > 160606 Government and Politics of Asia and the Pacific @ 30%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970116 Expanding Knowledge through Studies of Human Society @ 100%
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