Asia’s middle-income peasants


The popular image of Asian peasantry living under the yoke of landlords and money lenders, and resistant to any intrusion by the state, is no longer a useful one for understanding the political dynamic in much of the region. Instead, today’s peasantry, freed from the burden of food insecurity, are more likely to engage with sources of power than oppose them, and to resist withdrawal by the state rather than intrusion. This new social contract between Asia’s middle-income peasants and the state represents a fascinating shift in the political society of the region.

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Updated:  24 April, 2017/Responsible Officer:  Dean, ANU College of Asia & the Pacific/Page Contact:  CAP Web Team