UPCOMING EVENT: "Demarcating public and private in land and environmental governance in the Mekong Region" [Kyoto, 19 April 2019]

Seminar by:

Emeritus Professor Philip Hirsch, School of Geosciences, University of Sydney and CSEAS Visiting Research Scholar

Dr. Carl Middleton, Center for Social Development Studies, Faculty of Political Science, Chulalongkorn University

Moderator: Dr. Xiaobo Hua, CSEAS, Kyoto University

12:00 - 13:00, Friday 19th April 2019

Tonan-tei (Room no. 201), 2nd floor of Inamori Foundation Memorial building, Center for Southeast Asia Studies (CSEAS), Kyoto University


In this presentation we take a critical look at the context-determined demarcation between the public and private spheres in the realm of land, natural resources and environmental governance in the Mekong Region. We explore the generation of plural meanings of “public” and “private” through development projects and policies, and the implications that such meanings hold for: the actor configurations and power relations that shape how collective and individual interests are defined; how claims to ownership of resources are formulated and legitimized; the spaces within which projects can be debated, contested and governed; and ultimately how benefits, costs and risks are distributed across society. Hydropower dams and large scale land concessions set the context in which we examine these issues.

UPCOMING PUBLIC SEMINAR: "Resource Politics and the Public Sphere In Southeast Asia: Deliberation, Accountability and Alternatives" [Bangkok, 13 December 2018]

09.00 - 17.00, Thursday, 13th December at Alumni Meeting Room, 12th Floor, Kasem Utthayanin Building (อาคารเกษม อุทยานิน), Faculty of Political Science, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand

Co-organized by the Center for Social Development Studies (CSDS), Faculty of Political Science, Chulalongkorn University, the Foundation for Community Educational Media (FCEM), and Heinrich Boell Stiftung (HBS) Southeast Asia Office

In Southeast Asia, access to resources, ranging from land and water, to clean air and energy, are central to livelihoods and wellbeing. The distribution of access to resources reflect state policies and societal values, as well as the inclusiveness and accountability of decision-making processes that link them together and result in their translation into practice. The public sphere is the arena where state policies and societal values interact and are debated, including on potentially contested issues such as access to resources. It includes public venues, and via the mass media and social media.

Civil, political and media freedoms are necessary for a vibrant public sphere, but they are increasingly challenged in Southeast Asia, and in practice accountability occurs only in part. Opportunities to utilize the public sphere for accountability and exploring alternatives vary across Southeast Asia due to diverse political and legal systems. It is important to reflect on the implications of these trends, and explore established and new opportunities to maintain an active public sphere for deliberating public policies and societal values, ensuring accountable decision-making and debating alternative development visions.

This public forum invites civil society, academics, journalists, lawyers, state officials and others to discuss the trends, opportunities and challenges of the public sphere for ensuring fair resource politics in Southeast Asia. Panelists will provide a range of case studies and analysis from across Southeast Asia in relation to resource politics and the public sphere, including: the role of civil society, government and corporations; an evaluation of the opportunities and challenges in local, national and transnational laws and policies; and the role of mass media and social media.

For the presentations and live video feed from this public forum, please click here.

For our blog about this event, please click here.