Placing expansion of oil palm plantations in Indonesia in the context of the global land grab, this paper analyzes the contemporary extent and early historical periods of…
Placing expansion of oil palm plantations in Indonesia in the context of the global land grab, this paper analyzes the contemporary extent and early historical periods of plantation expansion via the theory of accumulation by dispossession (ABD).
After reviewing the empirical debate about the land grab, this paper examines the importance of ABD to understand the land grabs in general and for oil palm plantations in Indonesia in particular. Rather than a new phenomenon of the last four decades of neoliberalism, ABD has a history of several centuries.
Accumulation by dispossession (ABD) is a powerful and appropriate lens by which to understand the land conversion and social displacement occurring in Indonesia. Building on historical understanding of ABD, this paper applies the theory to the Indonesian oil palm case, making the case that the multiple and uncertain sequences of engagement with oil palm expansion are reflective of a broader struggle against dispossession.
ABD is not just a global financial process of corporate-led neoliberalization but also shaped importantly by domestic state and local elites. These elites have shaped ABD differently in colonial, authoritarian, and neoliberal periods.
The works of Stephen Bunker represent early, sometimes unacknowledged, contributions to a sociological imagination regarding the role of nature and raw material extraction…
The works of Stephen Bunker represent early, sometimes unacknowledged, contributions to a sociological imagination regarding the role of nature and raw material extraction in processes of social change. By engaging debates defined within a world-systems frame of national state power and cycles of capital accumulation, Bunker's work maintains the hierarchy of core, semi-peripheral, and peripheral states. While bridging the local and the global in unusual ways, his emphasis is predominantly on the external limits posed by nature and global markets on peripheries and the converse advantages offered to cores, thus allowing less room in the analysis for questioning which particular totality(ies) of social structure and relations are open to sociological inquiry. Gleaning the contributions from a socionatural approach and relating them back to Bunker's commodity-based approach may expand the purview for analyses of the intersection of the natural and the social. In this chapter, I argue that attention to ‘nature’ in its multiple socionatural occurrences contributes to an understanding of the structuring of power in time and place. I rely on geographer Eric Swyngedouw's deployment of the concept of ‘socionature’ and the framework of actor-network theory to explore the benefits as well as challenges of a more relational, nondualistic sociological analysis of society and nature.
In this introductory chapter, we briefly outline the history of the political economy of raw materials, focusing particularly on the relationship between raw materials and…
In this introductory chapter, we briefly outline the history of the political economy of raw materials, focusing particularly on the relationship between raw materials and economic development. We then introduce the chapters of this volume, and we conclude by discussing future directions for research in this area.
This chapter examines the use of routine health care and disparities by socioeconomic status among Vietnamese New Orleanians. It also assesses how these differences may…
This chapter examines the use of routine health care and disparities by socioeconomic status among Vietnamese New Orleanians. It also assesses how these differences may have changed as the result of Hurricane Katrina, which struck the Gulf Coast in late summer 2005, devastating the infrastructure of the health care system of New Orleans. Data for this study come from a panel of Vietnamese New Orleanians who were interviewed in 2005, just weeks before the hurricane, and followed up twice near the disaster's anniversary in 2006 and 2007. Findings show a steep declining trend in routine health care after the hurricane, compared to 2005. Marked differences in health care were already apparent in 2005 (before Katrina) between education levels, homeownership, and health insurance coverage. These differences were significantly reduced one year after the hurricane. We argue, however, that the reduction in disparities was not due to improved health care services or improved health care practice. Instead, it was likely due to the influx of free health care services that were provided to meet urgent needs of hurricane survivors while the area's infrastructure was devastated. By 2007, these free health care services were no longer widely available. Routine health visits dropped further and the temporary reduction in disparities disappeared. This chapter also underlines ongoing shortages of essential health care services for Vietnamese New Orleanians. Efforts need to ensure that all members of this community receive the full array of comprehensive and culturally appropriate health care as they continue to rebuild from the Katrina disaster.
In theorizing the dynamics of social processes, dialectical thinking informs Marx's historical materialist inquiries and both – dialectics and historical materialist…
In theorizing the dynamics of social processes, dialectical thinking informs Marx's historical materialist inquiries and both – dialectics and historical materialist principles – inform his political–economic analysis. In conceptualizing empirical observations during this work, Marx (1973b, p. 101) assumes that the “concrete is concrete because it is the concentration of many determinations, hence unity of the diverse” and that “With the varying degree of development of productive power, social conditions and the laws governing them vary too” (Marx, 1992, p. 28). This methodological tack strives for the flexibility needed for analyzing patterns in long-term social development (the structure of history) as well as the logic of specific systems in their totality and flux (the history of structures).