Ecology and Politics
Political Economy: Capturing the Wholeness of Social Relations and Ecological Contexts
2021 | Journal Article
Undeniably, one of the rare characteristics of James C. Scott's scholarship is that his analytical insights are widely recognized in many fields beyond political science and Asian studies. Scott's contributions to the vast literatures of agrarian and environmental studies, the theory of hegemony and resistance, development studies, postcolonial studies, state formation, and anarchism, to name just a few, are recognized by scholars of diverse disciplines as new standards that challenge widely accepted assumptions and theories and reveal underappreciated aspects and untold narratives of social history—particularly for those who, under normal conditions, do not raise their voice and did not have letters to leave records.
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How transboundary processes connect commons in Japan and Thailand:
A relational analysis of global commodity chains and East Asian economic integration
2020 | Journal Article
In this paper, with a focus on Japan and Thailand, we outline a relational environmental and economic history of East Asian economic integration (EAEI) and its implication for the commons in both places. We draw attention in particular to global commodity chains as relational processes not only of trade and investment, but also geopolitics and aid, to argue that these transborder processes have connected together commons in distant localities resulting in their simultaneous enclosure, dispossession and (re-)commoning with implications for community vulnerabilities in positive and negative ways. To demonstrate this argument we analyse three periods of EAEI: the late nineteenth century until World War II, when Japan and Thailand both began to modernise and new trade and geopolitical relations emerged in the context of colonialism; the post-World War II recovery until the Plaza Accord in 1986, during which time Japan rapidly industrialised, as did Thailand to a lesser extent and regionalism was largely defined by US hegemony; and the post-Plaza Accord period, when Japan deindustrialised its labour intensive manufacture and heavy industry and Thailand rapidly industrialised and EAEI became defined by new and intensified global commodity chains.
Keywords: (re-)commoning, dispossession, enclosure, environment–society relations
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Middleton, C., & Ito, T. (2020). How transboundary processes connect commons in Japan and Thailand: A relational analysis of global commodity chains and East Asian economic integration. Asia Pacific View Point.
Oysters and Tsunami: Iterative Learning and Nested Governance as Resilience in Post-Disaster Aquaculture in Hokkaido, Japan
2019 | Journal Article
This article examines how a community of oyster farmers in Hokkaido, Japan recovered from the 2011 T ohoku Earthquake and Tsunami, which damaged their aquaculture in Lake Akkeshi. It focuses on how, over the years, nested governance structures facilitated iterative learning, which helped build resilience against unexpected external crises. Drawing on adaptive management and resilience studies, this study examines the historical development of the local fishery cooperative association (FCA) as a series of responses to socio-ecological disasters-responses that this article characterizes as iterative learning. During the recovery after the 2011 tsunami, the FCA functioned as an information hub that directed the flow of knowledge and resources through government and industrial hierarchies, to the benefit of the farmers. This research, conducted between 2015 and 2017, is based on interviews with farmers, cooperative administrators, and government officials, as well as an analysis of archived records, fishery regulations and post-disaster subsidy programs.
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Ito, T., & Watanabe, T. (2019). Oysters and tsunami: Iterative learning and nested governance as resilience in post-disaster aquaculture in Hokkaido, Japan. Society and Natural Resources. 10.1080/08941920.2018.1550228.