Laur Kiik

Laur Kiik

DPhil student

Linacre College

Thesis: Saving Nature or Nation in the Kachin Hills: An Ethnography of Encounters


I have studied society, nature, and nationalism in war-torn Burma’s Kachin region since 2010. My first publications are now (slowly) coming out, including on the Chinese Myitsone mega-dam project, on Kachin popular nationalist worldviews, and on the anthropology of nature conservation (please see below).

My doctoral research explores how struggles over nature and nation have led the Kachin ethnonational movement to encounter diverse others – from Burmese activists to Western biodiversity conservationists.


Kiik, Laur (2020) “Inter-National Conspiracy? Speculating on the Myitsone Dam Controversy in China, Burma, Kachin, and a Displaced Village.” Geopolitics

Kiik, Laur (2019) “Conservationland: Toward the anthropology of professionals in global nature conservation.” Critique of Anthropology.

Kiik, Laur (2018) Wild-ing the Ethnography of Conservation: Writing Nature’s Value and Agency InAnthropological Forum, May 21.

Kiik, Laur. (2016). Conspiracy, God’s Plan, and National Emergency: Kachin Popular Analyses of the Ceasefire and Resource Grabs. In: Sadan, M. (Ed.) War and Peace in the Borderlands of Myanmar: The Kachin Ceasefire, 1994-2011, pp. 205-235. Copenhagen: NIAS Press.

Kiik, Laur. (2016). Nationalism and Anti-Ethno-Politics: Why ‘Chinese Development’ Failed at Myanmar’s Myitsone DamEurasian Geography and Economics, 57 (3): 374-402. DOI:10.1080/15387216.2016.1198265.

Foran, Tira, Laur Kiik, Sullivan Hatt, David Fullbrook, Alice Dawkins, Simon Walker, and Yun Chen (2017) Large Hydropower and Legitimacy: A Policy Regime Analysis, Applied to MyanmarEnergy Policy 110: 619–30.

Kiik, Laur. (2014). Review of Biosocial Becomings: Integrating Social and Biological Anthropology, by Tim Ingold and Gisli Pálsson (eds.)Anthropological Notebooks, 20(2): 173-175.

URL: personal website

Supervisors: Dr Laura Rival, Dr E.J. Milner-Gulland and Dr Matthew Walton.