Land and Longhouse: Agrarian Transformation in the Uplands of Sarawak

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by Robert Cramb

This book examines the role of community, market and state in the historic transformation of upland livelihoods in Southeast Asia. Focusing on the Saribas Iban of Sarawak, the book combines in-depth, generation-long village case studies with an account of changes in land use and tenure at the regional level spanning a century and a half. This analysis demonstrates that, far from being passive victims of globalization, the Iban have been active agents in their own transformation, engaging with both market and state while retaining community values and governance. The book offers a fascinating, empirically rich account of interest to scholars, development practitioners and the general reader alike.

"… this study is certain to become a major reference point for future work on land use, tenure, and agrarian change in upland Southeast Asia." - Clifford Sather, Professor of Anthropology, University of Helsinki

"Rob Cramb has written an excellent book with a much needed longitudinal perspective on agrarian change. The book is an important contribution to the urgent need for understanding the dynamics and consequences – both environmental and social – of upland transformation in Southeast Asia." - Ole Mertz, Reader in Geography, University of Copenhagen

"Rob Cramb’s study raises provocative questions about Iban society, the nature of the Southeast Asian uplands, and agrarian history. He presents a work distinguished by the depth of its scholarship and the breadth of the questions addressed by it." - Michael R. Dove, Professor of Social Ecology, Yale University

Prior to his retirement, Rob Cramb was a distinguished scholar at the University of Queensland, his research interests centred on rural development, agrarian change, and natural resource management in Southeast Asia.

Publication year: 2007
443 pp / 229mm x 152mm
richly illustrated
ISBN: 978-87-7694-010-2, Paperback

NIAS Press