Infrastructure violence and retroliberal development: connectivity and dispossession in Laos

Sims, Kearrin (2021) Infrastructure violence and retroliberal development: connectivity and dispossession in Laos. Third World Quarterly. (In Press)

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Abstract

This article examines the centrality of infrastructure connectivity within the post-2008 'retroliberal' global aid regime. Through the critical interrogation of connectivity and development discourse within Southeast Asia, as well as longitudinal field research examining repeated bouts of dispossession in Laos, I argue that all Southeast Asian states, regionally operating multilateral development banks and leading regional bilateral aid providers consider transnational infrastructure connectivity essential to development. Following this, I contend that large-scale infrastructure projects frequently increase disadvantaged communities’ exposure to intersectional forms of structural violence, epistemic violence, slow violence and infrastructural violence. Having made these arguments, I suggest that the normalisation of infrastructure connectivity as constitutive of development is producing increasingly violent development outcomes, and that intersectional interrogations of infrastructure violence are needed to better understand such outcomes. The argument presented is based on more than 20 months of in-country fieldwork in Laos and 40 interviews with 18 displaced residents. Fieldwork commenced in 2009 and remains ongoing.

Item ID: 68072
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1360-2241
Keywords: Infrastructure violence; connectivity; displacement; Laos; belt and road;
Copyright Information: Published Version: © 2021 Global South ltd. Accepted Version may be made open access under a CC BY-NC license after an embargo of 18 months.
Date Deposited: 21 Jul 2021 02:47
FoR Codes: 44 HUMAN SOCIETY > 4404 Development studies > 440404 Political economy and social change @ 60%
44 HUMAN SOCIETY > 4404 Development studies > 440405 Poverty, inclusivity and wellbeing @ 40%
SEO Codes: 28 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 2801 Expanding knowledge > 280123 Expanding knowledge in human society @ 100%
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