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"

My research looks at agrarian change, in particular, land alterations in legal land regimes and commercial land-grabs and how these affect long-standing inequalities among minority ethnic and peasant groups in Myanmar. The site for his research is amongst Karen smallholder farmers as well as environmental activists in southeastern Myanmar, with the aim of framing the present context within the longer history of the violent marginalisation of the Karen by state military and armed ethnic minority groups. Within this context, I examine how and why ceasefire processes and democratisation have furthered land confiscations in the region, and how resistance to these changes manifests in institutional and localised contexts. This research also interrogates the potential importance of practices of state building within Karen State and aims to assess the ways in which local smallholders negotiate between different ‘states’ and local brokers. In addition, I aim to investigate the ways in which agricultural practices and conservation initiatives have contributed to the formation of localised land laws, as well as the role local visions of land have within such land contestations.