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Praise for Fields of Desire


Holly High uses her formidable talents as a scholar and writer to displace the tired antinomy of village studies in which rural people are either complicit with state development projects, or resistant to them. Through richly peopled, ethnographic encounters she opens our eyes to a much richer terrain. A brilliant analysis and a lively read. Bravo!

Tania Li, University of Toronto.


In this beautifully composed ethnography on poverty reduction programs in Laos, Holly High uncovers the ambivalence with which rural people regard state power. Her meditation on the ambiguity of desire in state-society relations is path-breaking and offers new insights into the nature of rural citizenship in Southeast Asia and beyond.

Philip Taylor, Author of Goddess on the Rise.


Copies (pirated) will no doubt find their way to the various bookshops in Vientiane. Yet, its relevance and applicability go beyond the empirical grounding on a tiny island in the Mekong and it makes for a highly appropriate source for any anthropology, development studies and geography programme.

Roy Huisjmans, Erasmus University Rotterdam.



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