What’s in a claim? Making family, nation and territory in SEA


Double Panel

Part 1

Session 1
Wed 11:00-12:30 Room 0.18

Part 2

Session 2
Wed 14:00-15:30 Room 0.18



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Part 1

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Show Paper Abstracts


This panel explores how people in Southeast Asia make or dissolve claims, whether to place, people, citizenship, or identity. Amidst resurgent authoritarianism and a lack of robust legal institutions, claims-making often takes place beyond, beside, or outside the law. Public performances in newspapers, classrooms, scientific laboratories, farmlands and Facebook groups index ownership and belonging. The papers in this panel ask: how do actors assert and challenge ideas about kinship, property, citizenship and sovereignty? We are particularly interested in the ways in which claimants harness or subvert official rules and cultural conventions to (re)make claims, both from above and from below. When what is required ‘on paper’ or ‘by blood’ does not align with people’s everyday experience, they must find ways of making claims to the contrary. Using cases concerning family conflict in Cambodia, land restitution in Myanmar, DNA and citizenship in Thailand, and rubber plantations in Laos, we explore the multiple, dynamic ways in which state actors and everyday people forge claims about themselves and their social world.