Kevin Woods

Kevin Woods

Southeast Asia research analyst

Kevin Woods has worked on resource politics in mainland Southeast Asia’s uplands since 1999, including northern Thailand, Laos, and Burma. Since 2002 Kevin has focused his research in and on Burma, with particular focus on resource extraction and land rights in northern Burma’s ceasefire zones. Kevin received a master’s degree at Yale University on political ecology with a thesis on China-Burma cross border timber trade and ceasefire development. Since 2008 Kevin has been a doctoral student at UC-Berkeley in political ecology and geography of war. Kevin’s current research and advocacy with TNI is on Chinese agribusiness, drugs, and cross-border development; ethnic land rights in political transition; and ceasefires, post-war investments, and land conflict in the borderlands.

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Contact

Contact details:

woodsyk@gmail.com

Languages spoken:

English, intermediate ability in Burmese and Thai, beginner in Chinese

Selected publications

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Recent content by Kevin Woods

Protecting Profits over People

November 2014
Myanmar is in the process of formulating an investment law and a land use policy that when combined will lay the foundations of development for the country. As it stands, these proposed instruments could have an adverse impact on human rights, and in particular land rights.

A political anatomy of land grabs

March 2014
The phrase “land grab” has become common in Myanmar, often making front page news. This reflects the more open political space available to talk about injustices, as well as the escalating severity and degree of land dispossession under the new government.

Is the West's embrace of Burma about liberation or exploitation?

November 2013
In the last year, Burma has changed from being seen as a 'rogue terrorist state' to being a Western darling. Kevin Woods talks about what this change means for people on the ground in Burma.  

Developing Disparity

February 2013
Unless foreign direct investment in Burma's war-torn borderlands is refocused towards people-centered development, it is likely to deepen disparity between the region’s most neglected peoples and Burma's new military, business and political elite and exacerbate a decades-long civil war. 

The politics of the emerging agro-industrial complex in Asia’s ‘final frontier’

January 2013
Burma's dramatic turn-around from 'axis of evil' to western darling in the past year has been imagined as Asia's 'final frontier' for global finance institutions, markets and capital.

Financing Dispossession

February 2012
China’s opium crop substitution programme has very little to do with providing mechanisms to decrease reliance on poppy cultivation or provide alternative livelihoods for ex-poppy growers. Financing dispossession is not development.