Re-Inventing Dualism: Policy Narratives and Modes of Oil Palm Expansion in Sarawak, Malaysia
The policy narrative underpinning the current rapid expansion of large-scale, private, oil palm plantations in Sarawak, Malaysia, implies a dualistic conception of the agrarian transformation underway, such as prevailed in the 1950s. This narrative is inconsistent with the history of smallholder commercialisation in Sarawak. Post-1981 policy has sought to limit smallholder development and deliver large land areas to private estates, thus 're-inventing' a dualistic agrarian structure. Oil palm expansion in Sarawak has various potential pathways and is driven in its present direction, not by dualistic economics, but the exercise of state power to maximise opportunities for surplus extraction and political patronage.
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Volume (Year): 47 (2011)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
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