From Confrontation to Mediation: Cambodian Farmers Expelled by a Vietnamese Company | Land Portal

Resource information

Date of publication: 
December 2019
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ISBN / Resource ID: 

Concessions granted to investors in Cambodia have generated a deep sense of insecurity in rural forested areas. Villagers are not confined to a passive “everyday resistance of the poor,” as mentioned by James Scott, insofar as they frequently engage in frontal strategies for recovering land. Such has been the case in the northeastern provinces, where indigenous livelihoods are recurrently threatened by foreign and national companies. But what happens when a land conflict ends up in a stakeholder dialogue? The article intends to follow such a story that occurred for the first time in Ratanakiri, in a vast territory inhabited by several ethnic groups. After gruelling hostilities with the encroacher, dispossessed farmers finally accepted, encouraged by international/national NGOs, to comply with existing mechanisms associated with international law regulations and World Bank procedures. It ends up in an institutionalised mediation, technical and apolitical, which turned to the disadvantage of the people, with evident power imbalance. Our analysis, while portraying the trajectories of national/international actors involved in the mediation process, reveals the effects on this mediation on local sociopolitical organisations.

Authors and Publishers

Author(s), editor(s), contributor(s): 

Bourdier, Frédéric

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The purpose of the Mekong Land Research Forum online site is to provide structured access to published and unpublished research on land issues in the Mekong Region. It is based on the premise that debates and decisions around land governance can be enhanced by drawing on the considerable volume of research, documented experience and action-based reflection that is available.

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