Laur Kiik

Laur Kiik

DPhil student

Linacre College

Thesis: World-Making Encounters: How Nationalists and Conservationists Meet amid Burma’s Kachin War


I have studied nature, nationalism, and religion in war-torn Burma’s Kachin region since 2010. My first publications are now (slowly) coming out, including on the anti-ethno-political logic of China’s development-investment, on popular Christian nationalist cosmology in Kachin society, and on the anthropology of nature conservation (please see below).

My PhD explores how disparate world-making projects encounter each other, specifically the Kachin national revolution movement and international biodiversity conservation.

I try to take both nationalism and conservation seriously, and to integrate insights both from the social and natural sciences. Please do get in touch if we have similar research interests!


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 and Dr Matthew Walton.