The Geography of Security: The Birth of Focal Site Development in Postwar Laos
University of Colorado Boulder
Associated Senior Research Scientist
University of Bern’s Center for Development and Environment
March 9, 2018
Noon- 1:30 P.M.
Postwar Laos’s short-lived experiment with agricultural collectivization was abandoned in the early 1980s, but the mix of productivity and legibility it sought to create also took form in state efforts to develop industrial forestry in the country’s rural hinterland. This talk uses the case of the “focal site,” a model of population management that sought to reconcile conflicts between upland agriculture and postwar forestry, to examine the often-unexamined legacies of the Indochina wars on subsequent efforts to pursue national development in and through Laos’s rural uplands.