Agrarian Transitions, Rural Resistance and Peasant Politics in Southeast Asia

Fabian Drahmoune


In light of the recent revival of agrarian studies in the scholarship of Southeast Asia, this paper reviews three recent publications that are concerned with specific aspects of what has been framed as “agrarian transition”, “agrarian change” or “agrarian transformation”. It seeks to identify new perspectives and fresh approaches to the analytical challenges that arise from the multi-faceted and intertwined nature of agrarian change in the region. Further, it considers the implications of these processes – specifically in social, political and economic terms – for the rural population and examines their ways of embracing and resisting these changes. By emphasising the explanatory potential that linking approaches, theories and methodologies of different research traditions and disciplines in an integrative fashion has, it will be argued that – in order to enhance our understanding of people’s responses to rural change – it is essential to recognise their agency and perceptions as interconnected across multiple scales within broader structural conditions.

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