Emerging ‘agrarian climate justice’ struggles in Myanmar

Yukari Sekine*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The intersection between land grabs and climate change mitigation politics in Myanmar has created new political opportunities for scaling up, expanding and deepening struggles toward ‘agrarian climate justice’. Building on the concepts of ‘political opportunities’ and ‘rural democratization’ to understand how rural politics is relevant to national regime changes in the process of deepening democracy, this paper argues that scaling up beyond the local level becomes necessary to counter the concentration of power at higher levels. At the same time, this vertical process is inextricable from building horizontal networks and rooting struggles in communities. By looking at national-level land policy advocacy for more just land laws, accountability politics in mining at a regional level in the southern Tanintharyi region, and the bottom-up establishment of local indigenous territories, this paper illustrates how expanding these struggles becomes necessary, but is also accompanied by potential fault-lines. These fault-lines include divergent political tendencies within the network and challenges to working in areas contested by the Burmese state and ethnic armed organizations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)517-540
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Peasant Studies
Volume48
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 14 Jan 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The research and thoughts behind this paper have benefitted from the MOSAIC Project: ?Climate change mitigation policies, land grabbing and conflict in fragile states: understanding intersections, exploring transformations in Myanmar and Cambodia?, funded by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO), and by the United Kingdom Department for International Development (DfID). Thank you to the guest editorial team of the JPS Special Issue for their encouragement and feedback on earlier versions of the manuscript. To Jun Borras and Jennifer Franco for their critical insights, Mads Barbesgaard, Clara Park, and colleagues from MOSAIC for sharing experiences in the field and for the rich discussions. Thank you to the Dawei Development Association and Southern Youth, especially Thant Zin, Aung Lwin and San Ngwe, as well as activists and villagers who were interviewed or generously allowed me into their spaces. I also thank the members of Tavoyan Women?s Union and Dawei Farmers for their support. Thank you to Julien-Fran?ois Gerber in earlier stages of this paper, and Sergio Coronado, Adwoa Gyapong, Nguyet Dang Bao, Daniela Calmon, Corinne Lamain for support in final stages. Thank you also to the two anonymous reviewers who contributed to improving this paper. The research and thoughts behind this paper have benefitted from the MOSAIC Project: ?Climate change mitigation policies, land grabbing and conflict in fragile states: understanding intersections, exploring transformations in Myanmar and Cambodia?, funded by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO), and by the United Kingdom Department for International Development (DfID). All errors and shortcomings are my own.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

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