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* Jungles, Forests, and the Theatre of Wars

* Jungles, Forests, and the Theatre of Wars

Insurgency, Counterinsurgency, and the Political Forest in Southeast Asia

Chapter:
(p.55) 5 * Jungles, Forests, and the Theatre of Wars
Source:
The Social Lives of Forests
Author(s):
Nancy Lee PelusqPeter Yandergeest
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226024134.003.0006

Many forest management institutions and the ideologies that govern them, all hallmarks of modern states, were produced in Southeast Asia in the crucible of war. Insurgencies, ethnic wars, and “Cold Wars” in the tropics shaped institutions and practices, because “jungles” were their front lines. Although the direct impacts of war on forests are well-known, indirect and institutional effects of war and an array of “medium hard “technologies of power, such as forced relocation ( strategic hamlets), state colonization of historical territories (resettlement and transmigration), criminalization of traditional practices (edicts against the use of fire, shifting cultivation, etc.), exclusion of local populations from their traditional resource terrains (national park and forest legislation), and the transformations of bureaucratic/ military structures and surveillance for the management forests, are barely documented. This chapter focuses on the institutional dimensions of war in the creation of forest politics that exclude traditional ethnic or “racialized” populations. It further argues that war, insurgency, and counter-insurgency contributed to the resurgence of forests in many areas.

Keywords:   Southeast Asia, Indonesia, Relocation, Colonization, Insurgency, Transmigration, ethnic cleansing, forest institutions, state formation, forest ideologies

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