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Natural Potency and Political PowerForests and State Authority in Contemporary Laos$
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Sarinda Singh

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780824835712

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824835712.001.0001

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(p.153) 7 Conclusions
Natural Potency and Political Power

Sarinda Singh

University of Hawai'i Press

This book has demonstrated the importance of forests and wildlife as social and political resources in modern-day Laos. More specifically, it has explained how forests function as symbols that convey socially and politically loaded meanings about Lao identity, aspirations, and authority. It has argued that forest resources provide a basis for discussions about societal change and state authority because of their crucial role in Lao worldviews. It has examined the ways in which the resource-rich rural periphery provides opportunities for people to discuss experiences with forests, wildlife, conservation, and development while also asserting the legitimacy of the Lao state as a worthy leader of the nation. It has also considered the tension that arises when the unifying ideal of prosperity meets the reality of social hierarchy.

Keywords:   forests, wildlife, Laos, Lao identity, forest resources, state authority, Lao worldviews, conservation, prosperity, social hierarchy

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