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Title: Post-disaster economic development in Aceh: Neoliberalization and other economic-geographical imaginaries
Authors: Phelps, N.A.
Bunnell, T.
Miller, M.A. 
Keywords: Disaster capitalism
Economic development
Regional autonomy
Issue Date: Jul-2011
Citation: Phelps, N.A., Bunnell, T., Miller, M.A. (2011-07). Post-disaster economic development in Aceh: Neoliberalization and other economic-geographical imaginaries. Geoforum 42 (4) : 418-426. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: The Indian Ocean tsunami of December 2004 and a subsequent Memorandum of Understanding ending three decades of armed conflict has opened up Aceh to international aid, trade, ideas and potential investment. For Naomi Klein in her (2008) book The Shock Doctrine, such disasters have been exploited systematically in processes of neoliberalization. Based on fieldwork in Aceh and Jakarta, this paper shows that while neoliberal elements are present within important economic-geographical imaginaries in post-disaster Aceh, they are intertwined with and exceeded by other imaginaries. We draw attention to the theoretical importance of a fuller understanding of such imaginaries, their origin and reach, content and the actors and mechanisms associated with their promulgation. The paper recounts four economic-geographical imaginaries of the future of Aceh: (1) Aceh as newly (re)opened to overseas investors; (2) Aceh as a site of revivable trade connections to the Malay and Islamic worlds; (3) Aceh as a self-governing economic space; (4) Aceh as a united territory of diverse cultures and districts. The first of these is most closely associated with processes of neoliberalization but is exceeded by the others which, taken together, unsettle any singular script of a " disaster capitalism complex" at work in the reconstruction of Aceh. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.
Source Title: Geoforum
ISSN: 00167185
DOI: 10.1016/j.geoforum.2011.02.006
Appears in Collections:Staff Publications

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