Culture, Place, and Nature

Edited by K. Sivaramakrishnan

Published by: University of Washington Press

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Culture, Place, and Nature

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Border Landscapes

The Politics of Akha Land Use in China and Thailand

By Janet C. Sturgeon

"Sturgeon admirably demonstrates how local people live with the reality of continually negotiated political, social and ecological boundaries between China and Thailand. A scholarly, interesting and timely treatment of an important issue, the ever-changing and local nature of political and environmental transformation of a minority culture not just in a single political setting, but on the boundaries of multi-state formation and resource control." - Pacific Affairs

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Enclosed

Conservation, Cattle, and Commerce Among the Q'eqchi' Maya Lowlanders

Liza Grandia. Foreword by K. Sivaramakrishnan

This impassioned and rigorous analysis of the territorial plight of the Q'eqchi Maya of Guatemala highlights an urgent problem for indigenous communities around the world--repeated displacement from their lands.

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Forest guardians, forest destroyers

the politics of environmental knowledge in northern Thailand

Tim Forsyth and Andrew Walker. Foreword by K. Sivaramakrishnan

In this far-reaching examination of environmental problems and politics in northern Thailand, Tim Forsyth and Andrew Walker analyze deforestation, water supply, soil erosion, use of agrochemicals, and biodiversity in order to challenge popularly held notions of environmental crisis. They argue that such crises have been used to support political objectives of state expansion and control in the uplands. They have also been used to justify the alternative directions advocated by an array of NGOs.

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Forests of Belonging

Identities, Ethnicities, and Stereotypes in the Congo River Basin

Stephanie Rupp

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From Enslavement to Environmentalism

Politics on a Southern African Frontier

By David McDermott Hughes

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The Kuhls of Kangra

Community-Managed Irrigation in the Western Himalaya

J. Mark Baker

In the Kangra Valley of India's western Himalaya, farmers have for centuries relied on community-managed kuhl systems - intricate networks of collectively built and maintained irrigation channels - for their rice and wheat farming. Over the years, earthquakes and floods have repeatedly destroyed villagers' kuhls. More recently, increasing nonfarm employment has drawn labor away from kuhl maintenance and from farming itself. Prevailing theories of common property resource management suggest that such conditions should cause the kuhls to die out; instead, most have beentransformed and remain alive and well.

In this book, Mark Baker offers a comprehensive explanation for the durability of the kuhls of Kangra in the face of recurring environmental shocks and socioeconomic change. In addition to describing how farmers use and organize the kuhls, he employs varied lines of theory and empirical data to account for the persistence of most kuhls (and the demise of a few) in the late twentieth century. Into his explanatory framework he incorporates the history of regional politics and economics as they affected kuhls during the precolonial, colonial, and postcolonial periods; the role of state involvement in kuhl construction and management; the benefits of exchanges of labor and water among members of networked kuhls; and the ways in which kuhl systems are embedded in and reproduce core cultural beliefs and practices.

Scholars interested in common property resource regimes have long focused on self-organizing, community-based irrigation systems. Yet their theories cannot entirely account for the durability of common property regimes under the extreme conditions of ecological stress, economic change, and social differentiation that exist in Kangra. Baker adds new dimensions to such theories by reaching beyond them to incorporate "exogenous" factors such as the roles statemaking practices play in common property resource regimes, the importance of networks in buffering individual resource regimes from environmental stress, and the ways in which regimes are sites for reproducing and occasionally contesting the relations that constitute place and region. In doing so, he advances a new way of thinking about community-based systems of resource management--a timely subject given recent trends in many countries toward the devolution of authority over natural resource management from government to rural communities.

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Nature Protests

The End of Ecology in Slovakia

Edward K. Snajdr. Foreword by K. Sivaramakrishnan

As societies around the world are challenged to respond to ever growing environmental crises, it has become increasingly important for activists, policy makers, and environmental practitioners to understand the dynamic relationship between environmental movements and the state. In communist Eastern Europe, environmental activism fueled the rise of democratic movements and the overthrow of totalitarianism. Yet, as this study of environmentalism in Slovakia shows, concern for the environment declined during the post-communist period, an ironic victim of its own earlier success.

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Property and Politics in Sabah, Malaysia

Native Struggles over Land Rights

by Amity A. Doolittle

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Tahiti Beyond the Postcard

Power, Place, and Everyday Life (Culture, Place, and Nature)

Miriam Kahn is professor of anthropology at the University of Washington and author of Always Hungry, Never Greedy: Food and the Expression of Gender in a Melanesian Society.

Tahiti evokes visions of white beaches and beautiful women. This imagined paradise, created by Euro-American romanticism, endures today as the bedrock of Tahiti's tourism industry, while quite a different place is inhabited and experienced by ta'ata ma'ohi, as Tahitians refer to themselves. This book brings into dialogue the perspectives on place of both Tahitians and Europeans. Miriam Kahn is professor of anthropology at the University of Washington and author of Always Hungry, Never Greedy.

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