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How Land Concessions Affect Places Elsewhere: Telecoupling, Political Ecology, and Large-Scale Plantations in Southern Laos and Northeastern Cambodia

Ian G. Baird () and Jefferson Fox ()
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Ian G. Baird: Department of Geography, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 550 N. Park St., Madison, WI 53706, USA
Jefferson Fox: East-West Center, 1601 East-West Road, Honolulu, HI 96848, USA

Land, 2015, vol. 4, issue 2, 1-18

Abstract: Over the last decade considerable research has been conducted on the development and the impacts of large-scale economic land concessions for plantations in Laos and Cambodia. These studies have variously illustrated that concessions frequently result in serious negative impacts on local people and the environment, often leading to dramatic transformations of landscapes and livelihoods. As important as this research has been, these studies have largely focused on the immediate impacts of the “enclosure” process associated with gaining access to land by investors. In this study we take a different approach, investigating the implications of large-scale land concessions in southern Laos and northeastern Cambodia with regard to places outside of actual concession areas, both within the countries where the concessions are located and beyond. These links have been referred to as “teleconnections” or “telecoupling”, and adopting a “telecoupling” approach allows us to focus on particular relations between land-use change in one location and land-use change elsewhere, either nearby or distant, as the result of large-scale plantation development, both during the early plantation development period, and later when plantations are productive. It also provides opportunities to engage with Land Change Science (LCS) through Political Ecology (PE).

Keywords: Laos; Cambodia; Vietnam; teleconnections; telecoupling; transnational; economic land concessions; land grabbing; political ecology (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q15 Q2 Q24 Q28 Q5 R14 R52 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2015
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Handle: RePEc:gam:jlands:v:4:y:2015:i:2:p:436-453:d:49632