Ian G. Baird

Land Governance in Laos

In recent years there has been considerable controversy in the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR or Laos) regarding decisions by the government to issue long-term land concessions to foreign companies for large-scale plantation development, particularly for the cultivation of rubber, but also other commercial crops. Laos’ 2003 Land Law, in particular, established the legal framework for issuing land concessions to foreign companies of up to 10,000 hectares, although in some cases even larger land concessions have materialized. The expansion in the number of large-scale land concessions in Laos was closely linked to the “Turning Land into Capital” policy, which was designed to mobilize land to generate much needed capital and boost the economy of the country. However, those who have closely studied plantation land concessions in Laos have largely been critical of the actual result, as these investments have often come with a heavy social and environmental cost. In particular, many forests have been converted into mono-crop plantations, thus depriving rural peasants of commons important for supporting livelihoods, including [...]


  • Message from the Editor: This collection of articles from the Kyoto Review of Southeast Asia (KRSEA) is published with the financial support of the Center for Southeast Asian Studies (CSEAS), Kyoto University. We have compiled all the English articles from Issue 13 (March 2013), to Issue 20 (September 2016). This period marked a turning point for KRSEA with the re-launch of the website in March 2013 and the new online archive of earlier issues. That was when I was assigned as the chief editor of the KRSEA. DOWNLOAD THE FULL MANUSCRIPT (pdf – 105 MB) Looking back to the original KRSEA, it was launched in March 2002 by CSEAS to promote exchange among the intellectual communities of Southeast Asia. The primary goal was to bring news of important publications, debates, and ideas into region-wide circulation through lively and accessible writing. [...]



OTOP Nawatwithi: Fresh Air or More of the Same?

This October, the OTOP Nawatwithi project began to fully operate, as the latest avatar of the now famous OTOP policy initiated in 2001 by then-Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra. Conceived as a poverty alleviation scheme, a […]

Parsing People’s War KRSEA

Parsing People’s War: Militias and Counterinsurgencies in the Philippines

by Mesrob Vartavarian in Issue 25

Contemporary counterinsurgencies obscure state violence behind technocratic jargon. The term ‘force multiplier’ connotes the recruitment and use of militias as a means of thickening a thinly stretched military’s presence across insurgent zones. In reality, such organizations are ill-disciplined purveyors of government-sanctioned brutality. Militias have been particularly prevalent in the Philippines since the 1970s. Muslim separatist and leftist insurgencies triggered extensive counter-militarization campaigns by the Armed Forces [...]

International Institute for Asian Studies (IIAS)

ICAS 11 will return to Europe!


In 2019, ICAS 11 will return to Europe, where it began, in Leiden, the Netherlands. This historic city is home to one of the oldest universities and several renowned Asia research centers. The conference is hosted by Leiden University in partnership with the city, its research institutions and museums. Come to:

Book Reviews


Review– 베네딕트 앤더슨 (Benedict Anderson)

Book Reviews

Title: 베네딕트 앤더슨(Benedict Anderson) Author: Suh Jiwon Publisher: Seoul: CommunicationBooks Inc, 2018.도서/베네딕트-앤더슨/ This is the first book in Korean that exclusively introduces the academic life of Benedict Anderson. As we know, Anderson “was born […]


Review– Indonesia: Twenty Years of Democracy

Book Reviews

Title: “Indonesia: Twenty Years of Democracy” Author: James S. Davidson Publisher: Cambridge University Press, 2018 “Indonesia: Twenty Years of Democracy” (Cambridge University Press, 2018) by Jamie Davidson provides an in-depth analysis of Indonesia’s politics two […]


Review– Mythbusting Vietnam: Facts, Fictions, Fantasies

Book Reviews

Title: Mythbusting Vietnam: Facts, Fictions, Fantasies Edited by: Catherine Earl Publisher: Nordic Institute of Asian Studies, 2018 Based on its title, Mythbusting Vietnam: Facts, Fiction, Fantasies, would appear to be a revisionist attempt to correct […]