Dominique Robert Dillabough-Lefebvre

Grant Type

Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Institutional Affiliation

London School of Economics

Grant number

Gr. 9811

Approve Date

April 30, 2019

Project Title

Dillabough-Lefebvre , Dominique (London School of Economics) "Development as Insurgency: Ethnonationalism and the politics of land contestation in Kayin State Myanmar"

DOMINIQUE DILLABOUGH-LEFEBVRE, then a graduate student at London School of Economics, London, United Kingdom, received funding in April 2019 to aid research on ‘Development as Insurgency: Ethnonationalism and the Politics of Land Contestation in Kayin State Myanmar,’ supervised by Dr. Katy Gardner. This research focuses on the topics of agrarian change, labor, and cultivation as they relate to local religion and cosmology amongst Karen peoples of the Hpapun Hills. This is an area straddling the Thai-Burma border. The research has examined the different forms such labor takes in the context of legacies of violence, displacement, and increased infrastructural development in this area of Southeastern Burma. Alongside this lies a focus on the social labors of care and education involved in agrarian work, militarization, conservation and nation building, and the affinities which lie at the heart of these endeavors. Land thus becomes a window through which to explore social relationships and processes of social change in an area with a subsistence cultivation driven economy. Central to this are the relationship between animism and Christianity in the area, and how displacement has affected the persistence of animist practices in the region.