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THIS ARTICLE TRACES THE DEVELOPMENT OF RUBBER PLANTATIONS IN CAMBODIA and some of their most important consequences for Cambodian society. First, European land claims, often several thousand hectares, and subsequent land clearing radically altered the lives of local peoples and disease ecologies. Second, those engaged in creating plantations were at the same time recreating a rural border society, in particular a racial version of it, and tensions arising from perceived racial differences among the various local groups grew during the colonial period. Third, plantation owners imported large numbers of laborers from northern and central Vietnam thus increasing the circulation of people and ideas in Indochina. This migration gave rise to conflicts that were playing out in the broader politics of French Indochina, including anti-colonialism. Finally, during the First Indochina War, the plantation border region became a space of intense military conflict.


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This is the Publisher’s PDF of the following review made available by the Center for Khmer Studies © 2010-2011: Aso, Michitake. “Rubber and Race in Rural Colonial Cambodia (1920s–1954)” in Siksācakr, 12–13, 2010-2011, pp. 127–138. Retrieved from

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