Journal article

The Modern Origins of Traditional Agriculture Colonial Policy, Swidden Development, and Environmental Degradation in Eastern Timor

Christopher Shepherd, Lisa Palmer

Bijdragen tot de Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde | KITLV PRESS | Published : 2015


The origin of swidden systems is typically portrayed as a pre-colonial, pre-nationalist, and pre-developmentalist tradition, subsequently interrupted and eroded by colonial exploitation and post-colonial technoscience in favour of market agriculture. A recent counter-position to this 'anteriority model' presents swidden systems as reactionary 'refuge agriculture' in search of remote locations to circumvent state accountability (Scott 2009). A third model traces swidden agricultural processes as a 'dual economy' of both subsistence and commodity production. This article examines these approaches through a study of maize and rice in eastern (Portuguese) Timor, where a particular type of enviro..

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University of Melbourne Researchers


Awarded by Australian Research Council

Funding Acknowledgements

Chris Shepherd conducted archival research with the support of an Australian Research Council Post-doctoral Fellowship (DP0773307). Lisa Palmer's research was supported by an Australian Research Council Discovery Grant (DP095131).