This article analyzes Southeast Asian local communities’ resistance against the globalizing large-scale exploitation of natural resources using a micropolitical ecology approach. It focuses on how communities struggle for livelihoods, both resisting and appropriating globalized practices and narratives. Our ethnographic material encompasses natural resource conflicts in two communities: one on Sumatra (Indonesia) and one on Palawan (the Philippines). In both communities foreign and national companies have laid claims on community lands, transforming local power relations and wealth distribution as well as the relations of the communities vis-à-vis globalized production and the state. Communities often split over such transformations; some members negotiate a share in the globalized markets, while others organize resistance against these developments. The article argues that the specifics of this resistance against globalization can only be explained by taking into account the “micropolitics” within which they are produced, which calls for an ethnographic research approach to globalization.
- natural resources
- south east asia