RCSD welcomes all to attend a public lecture & book talk, “Infrastructure aid and the making of ‘real’ countries: Upland geopolitics in Laos’s land and energy sectors,” with Dr. Michael B. Dwyer, Department of Geography, Indiana University, Bloomington. The talk will be held Monday, July 24 at the Subaltern Room, Faculty of Social Sciences, Chiang Mai University.
Moderator: Dr. Chusak Wittayapak, Department of Social Science and Development, Faculty of Social Sciences, Chiang Mai University
About the talk:
This talk will introduce two related but distinct research projects on agrarian change in upland Laos. In the first part, Dr. Dwyer will present his new book, “Upland Geopolitics: Postwar Laos and the Global Land Rush (U. Washington Press, 2022), which examines the way that legacies of cold war conflict, together with newly built road infrastructure and the uneven geography of land titling have created an uneven geography of land grabbing in Laos’s northwestern uplands.
The second part of the talk will pivot to presenting Dr. Dwyer’s new and current research on rural electrification in upland Laos, examining electrification’s impacts on forest change (via agrarian livelihoods) using, in part, a historical comparison with Thailand. Together, the two parts of the talk bridge a shared history of international collaboration, as well as related questions of social, environmental and economic justice as they manifest at moments of grave political and environmental uncertainty.