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The social science of sustainable bioenergy production in Southeast Asia

by Simon R Bush
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The social sciences have made considerable inroads into exploring the politics of environment, land and resources throughout Southeast Asia, yet the social and political character of bioenergy development remains little understood. Current assumptions that bioenergy provides benefits to rural populations requires a much stronger empirical basis that will only come through further research. The challenge for the social sciences is to provide a critical but realistic understanding of the wider socio-political context of bioenergy production, giving attention to who is promoting bioenergy production, to what ends, and at whose cost. This article hopes to provoke a more considered policy dialogue over bioenergy development in regions such as Southeast Asia through a more grounded understanding of production and governance to unlock, wherever possible, the potential of the sector. (c) 2007 Society of Chemical Industry and John Wiley & Sons, Ltd

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