Armed Groups, State-Making Practices and Civilian Agency in the Borderlands


Double Panel

Part 1

Session 9
Fri 09:00–10:30 Room 1.103

Part 2

Session 10
Fri 11:00–12:30 Room 1.103



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Substantial areas of the borderlands in Southeast Asia are not under official state control. This is usually the result of armed resistance by various ethnic armed organisations (EAOs) in pursuit of self-determination in their claimed ethnic territories. Despite current ceasefire agreements, these territories today remain contested with conflicting claims to, and competition for, governance and resource extraction in the borderlands of Southeast Asia. Conceptualising the state not as a clearly defined entity but as in the making, performative and subject to ongoing negotiation, the panel invites contributions based on ethnographic research that challenge imaginaries of local communities as static, homogenous and devoid of agency. Key themes discussed by the panel include (but are not limited to) questions around the localised production of legitimacy and how local communities negotiate state-society relations in their everyday practices.