Waves of Dispossession

The Conversion of Land and Labor in Bali’s Recent History

in Social Analysis
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In Bali, land and labor are increasingly defined in terms of the market and dispossession from land, and subsistence is understood as a ‘natural’ precursor of desired ‘development’. The rapidly expanding mass tourism industry today dominates the economy of the province, employs half the workforce, attracts global investors and work migrants, and unceasingly demands land and skilled labor. Three waves of dispossession, all tied to the uses of land and labor, have through ‘accumulation by dispossession’ been key moments of class formation in Bali’s recent history. While the two first waves (re)shaped both land and labor relations, the current wave dislocates and reorganizes labor, producing a moment of enclosure from below that is indicative of a new logic of expulsion.

Social Analysis

The International Journal of Anthropology