Land Reform amidst Legal Debris: Learning Risky Rights in Myanmar

03:00 to 04:30
(GMT+01:00) Brussels, Copenhagen, Madrid, Paris
Online Lecture
The Justice in Southeastasia Lab (JSEA Lab) located at the University of Wisconsin- Madison invites to this online lecture with Dr. Hilary Oliva Faxon, UC-Berkeley, “Land Reform amidst Legal Debris: Learning Risky Rights in Myanmar”.
Land reforms were central to Myanmar’s precarious project of democracy in the 2010s. After decades of violent dispossession and everyday suffering, elites touted property rights as a solution to conflict and a vehicle for development. But on the ground, farmers experienced land reform as risky rights. Drawing on ethnographic and participatory research in grassroots land mobilizations and high-level policy-making, I show how legal and lived histories of land control shaped the prospects for reforms. Rather than quietly accepting land titles, farmers stretched their acreage, shifted land use categories, and leveraged the language of the law to make new sorts of claims. In so doing, they negotiated risky rights in ways that built on the longstanding practices of cultivation and connection that I call “surviving the state.” In the aftermath of Myanmar’s 2021 military coup, understanding the limits of land reform is essential not only to evaluating the decade of democracy, but also to imagining revolutionary futures.
Dr. Hilary Oliva Faxon investigates environment, development and technology with a focus on social justice in Southeast Asia. She is currently working on her first book, Surviving the State: Struggles for Land and Democracy in Myanmar, which provides an intimate ethnography of agrarian and political change during Myanmar’s decade of military democracy. Hilary is a Ciriacy-Wantrup Postdoctoral Fellow in the University of California, Berkeley’s Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management. She has worked with Myanmar women’s, environmental and ethnic rights activists since 2013 and currently serves on the Interim Steering Committee of Myanmar’s Virtual Federal University and the Board of Directors of the independent research institute Nyan Corridor.
Register for the event here.
Visit this website, to find out more on JSEA Lab.
Please note, the event takes place at 3am CET.  
University of Wisconsin- Madison
Centre for Southeast Asian Studies

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