The research carried out by RCSD faculty members and regional partners has highlighted the impacts of regionalization and economic development in a number of areas, in particular with regard to transnational migration, urban development and the impacts of environmental changes on a variety of social groups, as well as on poverty and health. These research findings have been published in the form of monographs and a series of working papers. A number of papers presented at RCSD conferences and regional seminars have also been published as collected volumes.
|UMD 15: Community of Practice in the Brass Gong Foundries of Tampawady, Mandalay
Lei Shwe Sin Myint
Th e transformations happening throughout Myanmar society are visible in the community of brass gong artisans of Tampawady district in urban Mandalay. Brass gongs have long played a role in the ritual and ceremonial life of Myanmar’s
The expansion of rapidly urbanizing Mandalay and new technological innovations threatens to drastically change the methods of brass gong production and the community that has grown in the Tampawady quarter. Lei Shwe Sin Myint has engaged the craft smen and foundry owners to see how their livelihoods and art will be impacted, and how the character of urban Mandalay will change as well.
|UMD 14: Erosion and Community Resilience: A Case Study of Shwetasoke Village, Kawa Township, Bago Region
Zin Mar Latt
Dr. Zin Mar Latt has taken a deep dive into the life of rural Myanmar and the heavy challenges people there face from not just environmental and natural disasters, but also the human-made responses and adaptations to them.
As more frequent and extensive erosion and flooding becomes the norm, Shwetasoke locals rely on traditional family and community networks, changing agricultural practices and religious space, as well as ritual ceremonies, and also put to work new tools of an independent press, social media and advocacy campaigns, and engaging the researcher Zin Mar Latt herself as advocate-scholar to promote their agenda to political actors at the regional and national levels.
Dr. Zin Mar Latt’s research stands as a critical case study of how communities exercise resilience to cope with drastic change and to maintain traditional ways of life, and also where they may be required to make serious adjustments, if not wholesale changes.
|CPRI 15: Cross Border Production of Watermelon in Laos
China's rapid growth and rise as global superpower has had significant influence on the Mekong region, including Laos. In particular, the provinces of northwest Laos have a close relationship with China's Yunnan Province through trade and investment. This study focuses on the watermelon business, which has become one of the main cash crops of Muang Sing, a small town on the Lao-China border. This study examines the relationship between China and Laos from the Lao perspective, examining how people live and the role of the border in an era which is increasingly globalized and borderless
|CPRI 14: Border Development, Resettlement and Adaptation in a Special Economic Zone: a case study of Khuan Village, Tonpheung District, Bo Kaeo Province in Lao PDR
The Lao PDR government has adopted a strategy of constructing Special Economic Zones (SEZs) where economic policies unique to the rest of the country foster economic growth. This case study investigates the SEZ in Tonpheung District and analyzes the effects of new economic enterprises on the livelihoods and quality of life of locals in Khuan Village. Most families received little to no legal assistance in the negotiation processes and do not feel they received appropriate compensation This study focuses on how the amount of financial and social capital possessed by a family prior to the changes caused by SEZ policies has directly affected their ability to adapt to change and form new livelihoods
|CDSSEA 23: Gender and Forced Resettlement of an Ethnic Minority Group: The Song Bung 4 Hydropower Project (SB4HP) in Quang Nam Province, Vietnam
Phan Thi Ngoc Thuy
This study analyzes the gender dimension of involuntary resettlement for an ethnic minority community in the SB4HP area. This research provides a detailed analysis of the gender impact of hydropower plant construction, and hopes to contribute empirically to the ongoing discourse on hydropower development in the Greater Mekong region. Through the “Livelisystems” approach of Andrew Dorward, this research attempts to understand the processes of change in socio– ecological systems brought by resettlement of the Co Tu ethnic minority group. Displaced people are under tremendous stress due to loss of traditional livelihood, lack of acceptable livelihood alternatives, and inexperienced cash compensation management. Resettled near majority ethnic Kinh Vietnamese, the Co Tu people have converted their traditional culture gradually into Kinh practice. This sparks the question of the linkage between unsustainable livelihood, cultural transformation and gender relations.
|CPRI 13: The Feminization of Modernity: A Case Study of Women Migrant Workers in a Lao Garment Factory
Describes the theoretical debate on the feminization of modernity and economic transition and ethnic migration patterns. Analyzes the urban lifestyles of young female migrant workers in the garment industry in Vientiane, Laos, and modern practices of this group of workers. Mentions the differences in ethnicity between Lao Loum, Khmu, and Hmong workers, with significant findings on migration drivers, urban adaptations, and new aspirations.
|Sino Thai Explorations: Chinese Student Perspectives on Mobility and Transformation in Northern Thailand
Ed: Chayan Vattanaphuti
This publication features perspectives from anthropology students at Yunnan University on different aspects of mobility and transformation across the changing social landscape of Northern Thailand. The research articles contained here are the product of a collaborative summer school hosted by Chiang Mai University in August 2019, where fifteen selected students from Yunnan University were given the opportunity to conduct short-term fieldwork under the guidance of local academic mentors. The work produced is a series of enlightening case studies, across urban life in Chiang Mai to rural livelihoods on the border, which traces aspects of these transformations. Most importantly, the book shows the potential for critical engagement in Southeast Asia from Chinese anthropologists-in-training, and should therefore be read within that context.
|CDSSEA 26: The Role of Civil Society Organizations in Women's Empowerment
Lahpai Nang Sam Awng
Women in conflict situations face specific vulnerabilities such as rape, sexual, physical and mental abuse, exploitation and inequality in decision-making. This research tries to identify the role of civil society organizations (CSOs) working to empower women in Pa Kahtawng IDP camp in Mai Ja Yang, an area of Kachin state, Myanmar, not under government control. This research delved into how CSOs have been working to build capacity for women’s development through training on gender, health, income generation, and women’s rights, but have reached different levels of success. Kachin women face numerous obstacles to their empowerment, as they still encounter entrenched cultural influences in their family and larger community dominated by men.
|Public Participation, Social Movements and Environmental Decision Making Process
Lwin Lwin Wai
The Letpadaung Copper Mine Project is a nexus of social conflict due to abuses of power, human right violations, lack of social justice, and the limited participation of stakeholders. Locals have protested against the project with the support of civil society organizations and environmental groups. There has been a lot of controversy, and hence, it has gained a lot of national and international media attention.
This volume seeks to describe the reality of what is happening in the Letpadaung area to understand the possibilities for public participation in development project decision-making in Myanmar. Public participation is a democratic practice that makes it possible for people from different sectors to integrate their opinions into decision-making. This research attempts to find what role public participations play in decision making about development in Myanmar—specifically at the Letpadaung Copper Mine.
|CDSSEA 25: Cambodian Migrants - Social Protection, Local Integration and Multiple Boundaries in the Thai Border Villages of Khok Sung, Sa Kaeo Province
Phra Kimpicheth Chhon
This research examines the local integration and social protections of Cambodian migrants in the Thai border villages of Khok Sung district, Sa Kaeo province. Migrants negotiate multiple boundaries—physical, social and legal—to gain integration, acceptance, and social protection. Extensive interviews with more than one hundred interviewees and key informants in different villages reveal how livelihoods, attitudes and perceptions of migrants and local citizens both enable and limit social protection for migrants; from local collective practice to state-based mechanisms.