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Cultural Anthropology alumna shortlisted for the IIAS Master Thesis prize 2017

MSc Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology alumna Annelin Verkade is one of the four 'runners-up' for the IIAS Master Thesis prize 2017. Supervisor: Dr. Erik de Maaker. Award ceremony on 22 February 2018.

Losing the Land: The consequences of land concessions in Cambodia from a perspective of choice

Central to Annelin Verkade's thesis is the question “What choices do local people have when faced with a land concession, and what are the consequences for their livelihood strategies?”. The research was conducted in southwest Cambodia, where a 45.000 hectare land concession was granted to a Chinese company by the Cambodian government. The people living in this area had to leave their villages and land, for little or no compensation at all. This land grab is part of a larger ‘global land rush’, in which governments, companies, organizations, and individuals compete for resources.

This thesis argues that the choices people made, such as to resist the land concession or to comply, have direct consequences for people’s livelihoods. As such, they were not just passive victims but could take control of the situation as best as they could. However, making these choices was not easy, and in the end, it was just a matter of choosing the lesser of two evils.

Award Ceremony

The winning thesis will be announced at a festive meeting on Thursday, 22 February 2018, at the Brasserie of the Faculty Club of Leiden University (besides the Academy Building) on Rapenburg 73 in Leiden, between 16.00 and 17.30 hrs. All welcome, but please register with iias@iias.nl

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