Laos - the Lao People's Democratic Republic - is one of the least understood and studied countries of Asia. Its development trajectory is also one of the most interesting, as it moves from state, or perhaps more appropriately subsistence, to market. Based on extensive original research, this book assesses how economic transition and marketisation are being translated into progress (or not) at the local level, and at the resulting impact on poverty, inequality and livelihoods. It concludes that the process of transition in fact contributes to the growth of poverty for some people, and shows how people manage to cope in very unfavourable circumstances.
Table of Contents
1. Managing and Coping with Transition Part 1: Setting the Context 2. New Poverty and Old Poverty: Livelihoods and Transition in Laos 3. Subsistence Affluence or Subsistence Struggle? Unpicking tradition and Illuminating the Past 4. Poverty, Inequality and Exclusion Part 2: Constructing the Argument 5. The Best of Intentions: Policy-Induced Poverty 6. Market-Induced Poverty: Market Integration and Social Differentiation 7. Making Livelihoods Work Part 3: Putting It Together 8. Summarising the Case Bibliography Appendices
Jonathan Rigg is a geographer based at the University of Durham and, formerly, at the School of Oriental and African Studies, London. He has been working on issues of development in Southeast Asia since the early 1980s, with a focus on agrarian and rural transitions in Thailand and Laos.