Upland Transformations in Vietnam

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Edited by Thomas Sikor, Nghiem Phuong Tuyen, Jennifer Sowerwine and Jeff Romm

Upland Transformations in Vietnam considers the effects of economic development, authority formation and landscape change on the country's "uplands". By positioning the uplands as an integral part of political, economic and cultural processes at the national and international levels, the book shatters stereotypes of the upland regions as a separate ethnic and biophysical realm, and calls into question the assumptions that have informed research on upland areas and post-socialist transitions, and government policy for these regions.

Movements from customary to state authority or from a subsistence to a commoditized economy are neither automatic nor uniform. The case studies in this book show that events in Vietnam's uplands mirror the country's cultures, organization, landscapes and larger political economy. Negotiations over authority and economy in the uplands recursively contribute to larger processes constituting the Vietnamese state and generating social inequalities. The Vietnamese experience thus provides valuable lessons applicable to research on upland regions and post-socialist transformations in other parts of the world.

The book features work by young Vietnamese and foreign scholars deeply engaged with research on upland livelihoods and ecosystems in Vietnam. These emerging experts present cutting-edge analyses of negotiations over land, forest politics, trade relations, tourism, migration, social differentiation and cultural imaginaries based on research conducted in all major upland regions of Vietnam, including the Northern Mountains, the Truong Son Mountains and the Central Highlands.

Thomas Sikor is Reader of International Development at the University of East Anglia.

Nghiem Phuong Tuyen is a Senior Researcher at the Center for Natural Resources and Environmental Studies at Vietnam National University.

Jennifer Sowerwine is a Research Associate in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management at the University of California, Berkeley.

Jeff Romm is Professor of Resource Policy in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management at the University of California, Berkeley.

Challenges of Agrarian Transition in Southeast Asia (ChATSEA)
Publication Year: 2011
312 pages, 229mm x 152mm 
ISBN: 978-9971-69-514-9, Paperback

NUS Press