The intersection between land grabs and climate change mitigation politics in Myanmar has created new political opportunities for scaling up, expanding and deepening struggles toward ‘agrarian climate justice’. Building on the concepts of ‘political opportunities’ and ‘rural democratization’ to understand how rural politics is relevant to national regime changes in the process of deepening democracy, this paper argues that scaling up beyond the local level becomes necessary to counter the concentration of power at higher levels. At the same time, this vertical process is inextricable from building horizontal networks and rooting struggles in communities. By looking at national-level land policy advocacy for more just land laws, accountability politics in mining at a regional level in the southern Tanintharyi region, and the bottom-up establishment of local indigenous territories, this paper illustrates how expanding these struggles becomes necessary, but is also accompanied by potential fault-lines. These fault-lines include divergent political tendencies within the network and challenges to working in areas contested by the Burmese state and ethnic armed organizations.
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A leading journal in the field of rural politics and development, The Journal of Peasant Studies ( JPS) provokes and promotes critical thinking about social structures, institutions, actors and processes of change in and in relation to the rural world.