Taking Southeast Asia to Market / Edition 1

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Recent changes in the global economy and in Southeast Asian national political economies have led to new forms of commodity production and new commodities. Using insights from political economy and commodity studies, the essays in Taking Southeast Asia to Market trace the myriad ways recent alignments among producers, distributors, and consumers are affecting people and nature throughout the region. In case studies ranging from coffee and hardwood products to mushroom pickers and Vietnamese factory workers, the authors detail the Southeast Asian articulations of these processes while also discussing the broader implications of these shifts. Taken together, the cases show how commodities illuminate the convergence of changing social forces in Southeast Asia today, as they transform the terms, practices, and experiences of everyday life and politics in the global economy.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"What unites these case studies is their view that commodification processes under the 'new' global order are increasingly complex and their critical stance toward the kinds of sociopolitical transformations that are wrought by a neoliberal market economy. The intractability of 'neoliberalist tendencies' is explained by, inter alia, the neoliberal market economy's ability to localize and contain fallouts; its effectiveness in limiting transnational resistance to its spread; and the particular historical, political contingencies in specific places that sustain such tendencies. Its resilience is also partly explained by its constant morphing into more (outwardly) benign forms. This edited volume is thus an important and much appreciated addition that deepens our understanding of pertinent social, economic, and political processes in Southeast Asia. It is especially significant and timely in illuminating how neoliberalizing processes make new commodities and remake old ones."—Harvey Neo, Economic Geography

"As one leans on a lovely Indonesian table, slips into a stylish T-shirt, sips a rare arabica coffee, or munches on delicious shrimp, one is in the new circuits of Southeast Asian economies. Most U.S. readers have largely forgotten about this region and hear of it mainly in references to the Vietnam war or threatened tigers. But the region has reconfigured itself, its politics, and its economies in highly complex, often unpredictable ways under this round of neoliberal globalization. Taking Southeast Asia to Market does a superior job of showing how globalization is mediated by local institutions and actors. This is a useful and definitive collection on politics, socionatures, and globalization."—Susanna Hecht, Professor, Regional and International Development, Institute of the Environment, School of Public Affairs, UCLA

"Taking Southeast Asia to Market is a timely theoretical intervention in political ecology, but it is more, too: a sparkling set of reflections on the social production of nature, as well as on nature's products and their transformations. Ranging from jewel mining in Burma to the market for live seafood in Hong Kong, and from Islamic spiritual training for factory workers in Indonesia to mushroom hunters in the Pacific Northwest, these essays never fail to exceed expectations. This is the kind of productive surprise that one finds in the best ethnographic writing, and which is the source of much of ethnography's power."—Mary Margaret Steedly, Harvard University

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780801474330
  • Publisher: Cornell University Press
  • Publication date: 5/1/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments     ix
List of Abbreviations     xi
Introduction: Commoditization in Southeast Asia   Joseph Nevins   Nancy Lee Peluso     1
New Commodities, Scales, and Sources of Capital
Contingent Commodities: Mobilizing Labor in and beyond Southeast Asian Forests   Anna Tsing     27
What's New with the Old? Scalar Dialectics and the Reorganization of Indonesia's Timber Industry   Paul K. Gellert     43
Contesting "Flexibility": Networks of Place, Gender, and Class in Vietnamese Workers' Resistance   Angie Ngoc Tran     56
Worshipping Work: Producing Commodity Producers in Contemporary Indonesia   Daromir Rudnyckyj     73
New Enclosures and Territorializations
China and the Production of Forestlands in Lao PDR: A Political Ecology of Transnational Enclosure   Keith Barney     91
Water Power: Machines, Modernizers, and Meta-Commoditization on the Mekong River   David Biggs     108
Contested Commodifications: Struggles over Nature in a National Park   Tania Murray Li     124
Sovereignty in Burma after the Entrepreneurial Turn: Mosaics of Control, Commodified Spaces, and Regulated Violence in Contemporary Burma   Ken MacLean     140
New Markets, New Socionatures, New Actors
Old Markets, New Commodities: Aquarian Capitalism inIndonesia   Dorian Fougeres     161
Production of People and Nature, Rice, and Coffee: The Semendo People in South Sumatra and Lampung   Lesley Potter     176
The Message Is the Market: Selling Biotechnology and Nation in Malaysia   Sandra Smeltzer     191
New Concepts, New Natures? Revisiting Commodity Production in Southern Thailand   Peter Vandergeest     206
Concluding Comparisons: Products and Processes of Commoditization in Southeast Asia   Joseph Nevins   Nancy Lee Peluso     225
Notes     231
References     241
List of Contributors     269
Index     273
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