Bouté, Vanina
École française d’Extrême-Orient (EFEO)
Brief bio :
Vanina Bouté is an Associate Professor at the Sociology Departement, University of Picardie (Amiens). She’s conducting anthropological fieldwork in Northern Laos since 2000. Her book entitled “En miroir du pouvoir: les Phounoy du Nord Laos: ethnogenèse et dynamiques d’intégrations” (Mirroring the power: The Phounoy of Northern Laos, ethnogenesis and dynamics of integration, 2011) concentrates on the social changes among a highlander border-guard group in Northern Laos, from the colonial context to the post-colonial period. Her current research is focused on migration and dynamic of change among highlanders living in the borders of Northern Laos.
Individual Project :

Vanina Bouté examines the issue of “local power” in continental Southeast Asia through the study of two interconnected phenomena: the emergence of new local elites and the rapid growth of border localities.. She proposes to conduct a comparative research based on surveys conducted in the north of the Indochinese peninsula - Northern Thailand, Northern Laos (in comparison with Northern Vietnam) where development has been boosted by economic exchange with China. Her project stands at the intersection of urban anthropology and political sociology. Border provinces of these countries experience, to various degrees, due to Chinese pressure, a similar process of emergence and development of medium-sized cities, born out of mass migration of ethnic minorities, increased cross-border relations and tourism. This research program aims to highlight the social dynamics of the development of these cities, and it proposes to study the emergence of the new actors - political, economic, and cultural - and the new social groups who are taking advantage of opportunities related to the development of these localities.

Laos: new elites and emerging border cities