The research aims to develop borderland biographies of three case studies. Each of these represents a nexus in current dynamics of Southeast Asia.
Empirical research in three borderlands
Case 1: The Myanmar-China borderland (Mainly Shan State and Yunnan)
Case 2: The Borneo borderland (mainly East Kalimantan and Sabah)
Case 3: The Malacca Strait borderland (mainly Riau and Singapore) The map indicating the three cases should come in here somewhere
Each borderland has its own unique history, trajectory of change and contemporary significance. All bear the legacy of colonial rule but have differing geo-strategic importance today. Each case involves borders with a degree of porosity, a high gradient and major cross border flows.
One is directly connected to a globalised economic hub (Singapore); others are connected less directly or through shadow networks of illicit trade (Myanmar-China). Cases 1 and 2 are land borders, which cut across large swathes of forest, while case 3 is a maritime border.
Our analysis of these three cases will involve both field work that generates fine grained analysis at the community level, and macro level mapping and analysis drawing on key informant interviews and existing sources.