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Reference: Le Billon, Philippe., (1999). Power is consuming the forest. DPhil. University of Oxford.Citable link to this page:

 

Power is consuming the forest Subtitle: The political ecology of conflict and reconstruction in Cambodia

Abstract: ´╗┐The broad aim of this research is to further our understanding of the incorporation ofnature into socio-political processes of transition within countries at war. Theconcomitant capitalist production of nature and construction of political power isexamined through the case of forest exploitation in Cambodia. The thesis draws onpolitical ecology, sociological theories of power, and political economic theories ofcommodity chains to explain the apparent failure of both the Cambodian governmentand the international community to employ logging revenues as a positive factor for'peace and reconstruction'.The main period of study extends from 1987 to 1998, during whichCambodia's protracted civil war ended. Timber represented over that period close tohalf of Cambodia's export earnings. However, this revenue largely escaped officialtaxation and reportedly fuelled the conflict, broadened wealth disparities, anddeepened an environmental crisis. Rather than fully subscribing to this 'politics ofplunder' story-line, this thesis examines the complexities of forestry practices, andflows of logging revenue, and analyses their relationship with the construction of political power throughout the process of transition.This construction of political power is interpreted through a neopatrimonialmodel in which social actors' politico-economic strategies both influence, and areinfluenced by the transition process. In Cambodia during the period of study, thesestrategies reinforced a 'shadow state' politics, through which the political elite, in partresponding to the demands of international markets and the political challenge of theUN-sponsored peace process, consolidated its power by reorganising productivenetworks outside formal governance. In turn, domestic and international actorsthrough both discursive and material practices resisted these strategies. The case oflogging in Cambodia is thus interpreted as a contested process of transforming natureand incorporating space into 'productive networks', as part of a broader politicaleconomy of power.

Type of Award:DPhil Level of Award:Doctoral Awarding Institution: University of Oxford Notes:The digital copy of this thesis has been made available thanks to the generosity of Dr Leonard Polonsky

Bibliographic Details

Issue Date: 1999Identifiers

Urn: uuid:9dd5daa2-704c-4909-850a-d4d64294cce3

Source identifier: 602330160 Item Description

Type: Thesis;

Language: eng Subjects: Cambodia Political aspects Forests and forestry Tiny URL: td:602330160

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Author: Le Billon, Philippe. - institutionUniversity of Oxford facultyFaculty of Anthropology and Geography - - - - Bibliographic Details

Source: https://ora.ox.ac.uk/objects/uuid:9dd5daa2-704c-4909-850a-d4d64294cce3



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