Historical Agrarian Change and its Connections to Contemporary Agricultural Extension in Northwest Cambodia

Brian R. Cook, Paula Satizábal, Van Touch, Andrew McGregor, Jean Christophe Diepart, Ariane Utomo, Nicholas Harrigan, Katharine McKinnon, Pao Srean, Thong Anh Tran, Andrea Babon

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


This historical overview uses a political ecology approach to examine agricultural change over time in Northwest Cambodia. It focuses on key historical periods, actors, and processes that continue to shape power, land, and farming relations in the region, emphasizing the relevance of this history for contemporary investments in agricultural extension services and research as part of the Zero Hunger by 2030 policy agenda for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). Agricultural extension projects need to engage critically with historically complex and dynamic power, land, and farming relations–not only as the basis of social relations but as central to understanding the contemporary manifestation of farmer decision making and practice. Initiatives such as the SDGs replicate long histories of externally driven power-relations that orient benefits from changed practices towards elites in urban centers or distant global actors. Efforts to realize zero hunger by 2030 are endangered by neglect for the path-dependency of power-land-farming relations, which stretch from the past into the present to structure farmer decision making and practices.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-52
Number of pages28
JournalCritical Asian Studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2024


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