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From causality to blame: exploring flooding, factories and land conversion in Eastern Thailand

Lattanan, Petchpilai, Areeprachakun, Puttaporn, Patnukao, Areerut, Cheewinsiriwat, Pannee, Barlow, John, Shin, Hyun Bang ORCID: 0000-0002-1103-9221 and Rigg, Jonathan (2024) From causality to blame: exploring flooding, factories and land conversion in Eastern Thailand. Australian Geographer, 55 (2). 203 - 227. ISSN 0004-9182

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Identification Number: 10.1080/00049182.2024.2311457


It has become common to attribute the growing frequency and severity of floods to climate change. But the factors behind flooding are many, and climate change often disappears from the equation at the local level. This study draws on interviews with key informants and community members and focus group discussions to explore the increasing incidence of flooding in two sub-districts in Eastern Thailand. To our surprise, there was little sense of community anger: flood risk had increased; the causes rooted in maladaptation linked to land conversion were recognised and uncontested; and injustice was palpable. But anger and resistance were muted. The paper seeks to make sense of this situation. Villagers accepted their complicity in creating the conditions for heightened flood risk through their willingness to sell their land for conversion. The disconnection between the identification of causality and the allocation of blame raises questions about how notions of environmental justice play out in places like Ban Thapma and Ban Nhonglalok, where justice and injustice do not fall equally across space and society.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2024 Geographical Society of New South Wales Inc.
Divisions: Geography & Environment
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
Date Deposited: 25 Jan 2024 11:18
Last Modified: 04 Jul 2024 02:51

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