Land in the Mekong Region: Revisiting concepts and contexts for engaged scholarship

Document type:
Seminar video

Date of seminar:
16th August 2017

Chiang Mai University, Thailand

Seminar speakers:
Professor Philip Hirsch (Chiang Mai University)
Daniel Hayward (Mekong Land Research Forum)

Opening: Dr Chayan Vaddhanaphuti (RCSD)
Moderator: Dr Robert Farnan (Chiang Mai University)

During the 1970s and 1980s, the topic of land attracted much academic attention in Southeast Asia, emerging out of agrarian studies. Following a period out of the limelight, and catalysed by land deals in the aftermath of the global food price spike in 2008, land has returned centre-stage, tied up in notions of ‘land-grabbing’, customary rights, and transboundary investments in land and land-based production. This seminar aims to look at this renewing of interest, identifying new contexts within which socio-economic and political relations are shaped around land in the Mekong Region and key conceptual advances that help us understand land relations.

The seminar marks the inception of a new specialization in land issues as part of the International Master’s Program in Social Sciences (Development Studies) at Chiang Mai University. Instigated through the Mekong Land Research Forum that is housed by the university, it is the aim for different activities to embed land as a core interest within the Faculty of Social Sciences, connecting to a regional network of academics, advocates, activists and policy makers. An overview of these activities will be presented.

Video links:
Part 1
Part 2