Frontier Capitalism and Politics of Dispossession in Myanmar: The Case of the Mwetaung (Gullu Mual) Nickel Mine in Chin State

Authors

  • Rainer Einzenberger University of Vienna

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.14764/10.ASEAS-2018.1-2

Keywords:

Chin State, Frontier, Mining, Myanmar, Politics of Dispossession

Abstract

Since 2010, Myanmar has experienced unprecedented political and economic changes described in the literature as democratic transition or metamorphosis. The aim of this paper is to analyze the strategy of accumulation by dispossession in the frontier areas as a precondition and persistent element of Myanmar’s transition. Through this particular regime of dispossession – described as frontier capitalism – the periphery is turned into a supplier of resource revenues to fuel economic growth at the center. The paper takes up the case study of the Mwetaung (Gullu Mual) nickel mine on the border to Chin State and the “politics of dispossession” around this project. It analyzes the strategies, motives, and objectives of a broad ad-hoc coalition that emerged in 2013 to defend their access to land against forms of legal dispossession by the state. In this case, the attempted dispossession has been successfully challenged, by making use of new opportunities for political participation.

Author Biography

Rainer Einzenberger, University of Vienna

Rainer Einzenberger is a PhD candidate at the Department of Development Studies, University of Vienna. His research interests include political science, land and resource politics, critical geography, and indigenous movements with a regional focus on Southeast Asia. Contact: rainer.einzenberger@univie.ac.at

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Published

2018-06-30

How to Cite

Einzenberger, R. (2018). Frontier Capitalism and Politics of Dispossession in Myanmar: The Case of the Mwetaung (Gullu Mual) Nickel Mine in Chin State. Austrian Journal of South-East Asian Studies, 11(1), 13–34. https://doi.org/10.14764/10.ASEAS-2018.1-2

Issue

Section

Current Research on Southeast Asia