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Claiming and naming resources on the border of the state: Akha strategies in China and Thailand

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This paper explores the intersection of state policies and local interests in allocating and managing resources in mountainous border areas of China and Thailand. These two states differ markedly in policies and approaches both to forests and to ethnic minorities on the periphery. The first section of the paper traces the history of policies in both countries for forested border areas and for forest-dependent ethnic minorities. The next section explores the evolution of property rights, land use, and the meaning of resources for one Akha village in China, and one in Thailand, in response to these dramatically different political economies. The final section considers some current outcomes for both the Akha and the local landscape as a result of these differing policy histories, and Akha strategies for claiming and using resources under these two regimes.
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Keywords: Akha; China; exclusion; inclusion; resource management

Document Type: Original Article

Affiliations: Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, New Haven, CT, USA

Publication date: 01 August 1997

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