Strengthening the State : Logging and neoliberal politics in East New Britain, Papua New Guinea

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http://hdl.handle.net/10138/166436

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Tammisto , T 2010 , ' Strengthening the State : Logging and neoliberal politics in East New Britain, Papua New Guinea ' , Suomen Antropologi , vol. 35 , no. 1 , pp. 43-59 .

Title: Strengthening the State : Logging and neoliberal politics in East New Britain, Papua New Guinea
Author: Tammisto, Tuomas
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Keskustakampuksen kirjasto
Date: 2010
Language: eng
Number of pages: 17
Belongs to series: Suomen Antropologi
ISSN: 0355-3930
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/166436
Abstract: In this paper I will examine how logging in Papua New Guinea affects the relationship between the state and the local communities on whose lands logging operations take place. The point of departure of my argument is the Ili-Wawas Integrated Project, a combined logging and agricultural project which seeks to bring economic development to the remote Pomio district of East New Britain Province by connecting existing logging roads to the limited national road network around the provincial capital. Developing the national road network and creating standardized or—to use James Scott’s concept—legible environments can be seen as an integral part of state-making and strengthening the role of the state. In addition to the environment, the state also needs to make social life legible in forms of maps, censuses and laws. As I will argue in my paper, the Ili-Wawas, and other similar projects, may indeed strengthen the role of the state not only by creating the infrastructure and legibility needed by the state, but also in unintended and accidental ways. The side effects of logging and road building include, among others, fear of crime and land disputes. It is these that create among the locals a perceived need for state institutions, which may be as significant in advancing the role of the state as is the creation of infrastructure and legibility.
Subject: 514 Sociology
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