CAS Luncheon Series
Thursday, March 1, 2018, 12:30 p.m.
CAS Conference Room

In this talk, I present an overview of my current book project, which uses the case of Chinese agribusiness investment in northern Lao PDR to unpack what has been widely labeled as a new global land rush. Transnational land deals are often framed in terms of sovereignty threats to host countries like Laos, but have been plagued by opacity, despite a growing critical literature. Drawing on a mix of ethnographic and archival work, this project highlights the ways that Cold War-era conflict continues to determine the winners and losers in today’s transnational land deals; and argues that ongoing struggles within the state help explain the lack of transparency around an increasingly common feature of the international development landscape.

Michael Dwyer is a political ecologist who studies the intersection of agrarian change, environmental politics and struggles over property formalization and development in Southeast Asia. His work has been published in a variety of journals, books and working-paper series focused on development geographies and resource governance. Mike’s current work investigates the regulation of land-based investment and associated debates about infrastructure development financing.