Economic growth in Southeast Asia has bought jobs and increased state revenues, but also wrought labour rights violations, community dispossession of land and natural resources, and environmental degradation. Carl Middleton argues that economic reform starts with greater Corporate Accountability, including across borders.
While opening up to greater democracy, Myanmar is entering a period of neoliberal market reforms and privatization of its natural resources. Newly drafted “land concession” legislation favor agribusiness, and land grabs result from continued government reliance on top-down authoritarian approaches to development.
In the Mekong Region, after decades of governments, donors, corporations, experts and others pursuing development, winners and losers have emerged. In this first “Commons Comment” editorial, we discuss the changing lives in the Mekong Region, new development trends, impacts on the commons, and why Mekong Commons was initiated.