Northern Thailand's Specter of Eviction

Andrew Walker, Nicholas Farrelly

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    Discussions of resource management and development in northern Thailand often emphasize the threat of eviction faced by uplanders living in forest reserve zones. This "specter of eviction" is to be found in official government policy, in academic accounts of highland development, and in the activist writings of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). The review of the literature in this article suggests, however, that very few evictions have in fact taken place since the early 1980s and the threat of eviction in accounts written over the past two decades is exaggerated. The authors examine some of the political, practical, and policy reasons why the rate of eviction has been very low. They conclude by arguing that reliance on the specter of eviction by activist academics and NGOs seeking to defend the rights of upland farmers results in a political strategy that is disempowering and disengaged from current livelihood realities.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)373-397
    JournalCritical Asian Studies
    Volume40
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2008

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