Associate Professor Keith Barney

Associate Professor & Head of Department, Resources, Environment & Development Group
Crawford School of Public Policy

Keith Barney has conducted research on the changing geographies of environment and development, and natural resource policy in Southeast Asia since 1999, including fieldwork in Lao PDR, Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Indonesia. His interests lie at the intersections between political ecology, economic geography, and agrarian change. He is particularly interested in resource-making and its articulation with property rights and livelihoods, territorialisation, market governance, state-building, and systems of authoritarian rule.

From 2003, Keith’s primary focus for fieldwork and research has been in the endlessly fascinating country of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic. Laos also offers a particular geographical window for studying broader regional and global processes of political-economic and environmental transformation.

Keith is currently serving as the Head of Department for the Crawford School’s Resources Environment & Development (RE&D) Group. He is also an ANU Southeast Asia Institute working committee member, and an Associate Editor of Asia and the Pacific Policy Studies journal.

Research interests

  • Resources and Economic Geography
  • Political Ecology
  • Rural Livelihoods & Agrarian Transformations
  • Rural Labour Migration
  • Forest and Land Policy
  • Resource Tenure and Property Rights
  • Community-Based Natural Resource Management (CBNRM)
  • Social and Environmental Impacts of Hydropower Development in the Mekong Region
  • Lao Politics, Economy & Society
  • Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining in Asia
  • Commodity Chain and Value Chain Analysis
  • Van Der Meer Simo, A, Kanowski, P & Barney, K 2020, 'Economic Returns to Households Participating in Different Models of Commercial Tree Plantations in Lao PDR', International Forestry Review, vol. 22, no. 1, pp. 132-152.
  • Van Der Meer Simo, A, Kanowski, P & Barney, K 2020, 'The role of agroforestry in swidden transitions: a case study in the context of customary land tenure in Central Lao PDR', Agroforestry Systems 94: 1929–1944.
  • Barney, K 2019, 'Book review: Dead in the Water: Global Lessons from the World Bank's Model Hydropower Project in Laos', Southeast Asian Studies, vol. 8, no. 1, pp. 153-157.
  • Van Der Meer Simo, A, Kanowski, P & Barney, K 2019, 'Revealing environmental income in rural livelihoods: evidence from four villages in Lao PDR', Forests, Trees and Livelihoods, vol. 28, no. 1, pp. 16-33.
  • Barney, K & Sunam, R 2018, 'Beyond rural routes: Gendered migration, agrarian production and forest change in Java: Commentary on Nancy Peluso and Agus Budi Purwanto's 'The Remittance Forest: Turning Mobile Labor into Agrarian Capital'', Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography, vol. 39, no. 1, pp. 37-40pp.
  • Blake, D & Barney, K 2018, 'Structural Injustice, Slow Violence? The Political Ecology of a 'Best Practice' Hydropower Dam in Lao PDR', Journal of Contemporary Asia, vol. 48, no. 5, pp. 808-834.
  • Creak, S & Barney, K 2018, 'Conceptualising Party-State Governance and Rule in Laos', Journal of Contemporary Asia, vol. 48, no. 5, pp. 693-716pp.
  • Baird, I & Barney, K 2017, 'The political ecology of cross-sectoral cumulative impacts: modern landscapes, large hydropower dams and industrial tree plantations in Laos and Cambodia', The Journal of Peasant Studies, vol. 44, no. 4, pp. 769-795.
  • Barney, K 2016, 'Book Review: Tomas Larsson "Land and Loyalty: Security and the Development of Property Rights in Thailand"', Journal of Asian Studies, vol. 75, no. 1, pp. 270-273.
  • Barney, K 2016, 'Sparking development or consuming the countryside? Lao charcoal commodity networks in the Mekong Region', Asia Pacific Viewpoint, vol. 57, no. 2, pp. 194-206.
  • Barr, C, Barney, K & Laird, S 2014, 'Governance Failures and the Fragmentation of Tropical Forests', in Kettle, C. J.; Koh, L. P. (ed.), Global Forest Fragmentation, CAB International, UK, pp. 132-157.
  • Barney, K 2014, 'Ecological Knowledge and the Making of Plantation Concession Territories in Southern Laos', Conservation and Society, vol. 12, no. 4, pp. 352-363.
  • Barney, K 2014, 'Book review: Sarah Turner (ed.) "Red Stamps and Gold Stars: Fieldwork Dilemmas in Upland Socialist Asia"', New Mandala (Blog).
  • Barney, K 2013, 'Land, Livelihoods and Remittances: 'A Political Ecology of Youth Outmigration Across the Lao-Thai Mekong Border', in Philip F. Kelly (ed.), Migration, Agrarian Transition, and Rural Change in Southeast Asia, Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group, UK, pp. 127-146.
  • Creak, S & Barney, K 2012, Distressing developments in Laos.
  • Barney, K 2012, 'Land, Livelihoods and Remittances: A Political Ecology of Youth Outmigration Across the Lao-Thai Mekong Border', Critical Asian Studies, vol. 44, no. 1, pp. 57-83.
  • Barney, K 2012, Locating Green Neoliberalism and Other Forms of Environmental Governance in Southeast Asia, Kyoto University Southeast Asian Studies Newsletter, vol. 66, no. Autumn 2012, pp. 25-28.
  • Barney, K. (2012). 'Entitled to Your Entitlements' Book Review of Derek Hall, Philip Hirsch and Tania Li (2011) Powers of Exclusion: Land Dilemmas in Southeast Asia Singapore and Manoa: NUS Press and University of Hawaii Press. New Mandala: New Perspectives on Mainland Southeast Asia.
  • Barney, K. 2012. Meuang Metaphysics. Book Review of Sarinda Singh (2012) Natural Potency and Political Power: Forests and State Authority in Contemporary Laos. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press. Southeast Asian Studies. 1(3): 513-517.
  • Barney, K 2009, 'Laos and the making of a 'relational' resource frontier', The Geographical Journal, vol. 175, no. 2, pp. 146-159.

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