The Palm Oil Controversy in Southeast Asia: A Transnational Perspective

The Palm Oil Controversy in Southeast Asia: A Transnational Perspective
Date of publication:  2012
Publisher:  Institute of Southeast Asian Studies
Number of pages:  283
Code:  PIC213
Soft Cover
ISBN: 9789814311441
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"This collection of 12 chapters and a preface presents a detailed and informative review of the concerns and developments about the rapid growth of palm oil in Southeast Asia. This is a detailed and informative book that should be read by students and activists interested in palm oil. It brings a structured analysis to environmental activism by analysing palm oil as a segmented and transnational business and topic of environmental concern. It also offers detailed histories and case studies. It should be mentioned that the book adopts an almost universally critical tone towards palm oil, which might worry some readers. But as a fast introduction to this complex and very significant trend, I have seen nothing better" (Bijdragen tot de Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde [BKI]).

"... the book serves usefully to remind us that palm oil is a truly global product, utilised in an enormous number of everyday products and processes. A fascinating table on page 238 reads like a list of the world's best-known consumer brands, from McVites to Head & Shoulders, from Heinz to Nivea, from Ajax to Mars; their products all include some palm oil. The diversity of authors and focus result ... in a mass of fascinating detail" (Asian Affairs).


IBP 2015 Reading Committee Edited Volume Accolade (Humanities Category).

About the publication

“This engaged and vital edited volume brings together the varied viewpoints of academics, consultants and activists all concerned with the astonishing expansion of palm oil as a globally traded commodity. It reveals how this complex, contested and controversial expression of globalization transcends narrow national and sectoral interests, stimulating a transnational exchange of goods, capital and labour, as well as laws, norms, values and even understanding. Compelling, readable and insightful, the study shows that corporate responses to civil societys concerns about palm oils role in global warming, human rights abuses, land grabbing and biodiversity loss, now need to be complemented by legal, regulatory and governance reforms to be effective.”

—Marcus Colchester, Director, Forest Peoples Programme

Co-publication: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies

Institute of Southeast Asian Studies


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