The Political Economy of Land and Agrarian Relations in Southeast Asia

  • Philip HirschEmail author
Part of the Studies in the Political Economy of Public Policy book series (PEPP)


This chapter discusses how agrarian relations within particular national contexts have been shaped by Southeast Asia’s wider, post-colonial political economy. Class relations and conflicts surrounding agriculture have fundamentally changed in this region over the past 50 years, through a shift from a peasant rural economy to a neoliberal era defined by globalisation, marketisation, livelihood diversification, and precarity, including growing exclusions and enclosures that alienate people from their land. Capitalist development has led to dramatic changes in land access and usage, with the rise of large agribusiness plantations, the construction of hydropower dams, forestry and mining all displacing smallholders from their land. This has bred growing resentment, as well as collective and individual resistance to various forms of dispossession and quieter micro-processes of exclusion. In some cases, rural grievances have helped to fuel the rise of populism.


Agriculture Land Political economy Southeast Asia Globalisation 


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© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of GeosciencesThe University of SydneySydneyAustralia

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