An Analysis of the Highlander Response to Logging, Ratanakiri Province, Northeast Cambodia
This article examines in detail the influence of the
global on state-local relationships in the particular
context of Ratanakiri Province, Northeast Cambodia.
It is argued that modern state power in Cambodia is
based on Western concepts of nation-building, including
territorialization, assimilation, economic development,
and the commercial exploitation of resources and has
led to the incorporation of the remote forested areas
of the periphery into the net of the state. Since the
1993 election, the plunder of the northeast has been
justified in the name of "development." The
author shows that the response of forest-dependent highlanders
to this state intervention cannot be understood as either
simple opposition or acquiescence. Rather it has been
a contradictory and fragmentary response, emerging from
the conflicting desires for autonomy over land and forests
and for the benefits to be gained from "development"
and inclusion within the hypothesized "nation-state."
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