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Stephen Huard

Associate PhD Student
Discipline :

Coordonnées professionnelles


Master RCHAS (Comparative Research in Anthropology, History and Sociology) – EHESS Marseille, France.

Beginning of PhD

October 2014

PhD School

Social Sciences Faculty at the University of East Anglia (UEA – Norwich/UK)


Oliver Springate-Baginski (UEA), Ben Jones (UEA) and Pierre-Yves Le Meur (EHESS, IRD)


Power and Land relations in central Myanmar Countryside.

•   Discipline


My research analyses the framing and the transformations of power relations at the local level in Burma central drylands. Thus, I look at village-government relations but also at the local conceptions about power, transmission and legitimation and their linkages to village socio-religious' relations and economic transformations.

More precisely, this research is about:

describing my encounter with village life and people as a way of displaying the logics of reciprocity structuring local sociality.

questioning the making of the land issue from pre-colonial times onward in order to describe the interplay village-government across land relations that transformed, to a certain extent, the power relations at play locally (from chieftainship to headship; the administering of land; the strategic uses of government policies).

describing the dilemmas a village headman is entangled with.

analysing the latest headman selection to show why and how people manoeuvre for controlling headship.

questioning the legitimacy of the village lu-gyi (great man) and the sphere of “village affairs”.

analysing how current social changes challenge the ideology sustaining dependence relations between farmers and labourers in rural settings.

looking at the conceptions and practices of transmission among families.       


Education and professional experiences



2014 Research Master at EHESS Marseille RCAHS – “Comparative Research in Anthropology, History and Sociology” (Distinction). Master thesis: The regulation of local land conflicts (central Myanmar) – in French.Supervisors: P.-Y. Le Meur (EHESS-IRD) and G. Blundo (EHESS).

2012 BA in Anthropology (Bordeaux - France)

2011 BA in History (Rennes - France)


Professional experiences


2015-2016   12 months’ research consultancy for GRET (Research and Technology Exchange Group) within their study (Land tenure in rural lowland Myanmar Understanding rural land issues to engage comprehensive policy dialogue in Myanmar) directed by Céline Allaverdian and Maxime Boutry. My participation was to gather and analyse data on land access, processes of social inclusion and exclusion, social and power relations at the village level, and on interplay between villages and governments in the central Dry Zone.

2013-2014   6 months’ research internship for GRET (Research and Technology Exchange Group) within their study (Land tenure in rural lowland Myanmar Understanding rural land issues to engage comprehensive policy dialogue in Myanmar) directed by Céline Allaverdian and Maxime Boutry. My participation was to document and analyse local land conflicts and land access in the Dry Zone of Myanmar.



Peer-review journal


  • 2016 Huard, S. Une terre commune dans le village ? Relations village-État et économie morale au travers de la biographie d’une parcelle dans le centre du Myanmar, Natures Sciences Sociétés, vol. 24, n°4, pp. 347 - 357 (DOI: 10.1051/nss/2016038)


Book review


  • 2015  Huard, S. (2015). State and legal practice in the Caucasus: anthropological perspectives on law and politics, edited by Stéphane Voell and Iwona Kaliszewska, The Journal of Legal Pluralism and Unofficial Law, DOI: 10.1080/07329113.2015.1043230



  • 2014  Huard S., 2014. La régulation locale des conflits fonciers (Birmanie centrale). Master thesis, Marseille, EHESS, DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.1.4235.7204




  • 2017  Boutry, M., Allaverdian, C., Mellac, M., Huard, S., U San Thein, Tin Myo Win, Land tenure in rural lowland Myanmar. From historical perspectives to contemporary realities in the Dry zone and the Delta, GRET.
  • 2016  Pierce, C., Huard, S., Land Tenure Rapid Assessment: Pyapon and Maubin (Ayeyarwaddy). Pilot Sites for Land Redistribution to Landless, Land Core Group.





  • 2017    “Sur la singularité de la transmission de l’héritage (amwei) dans le centre du Myanmar. Une étude de cas.”, Singleton Symposium, Catholic University of Louvain, Social Bonding: Circulation of Goods, People, and Capital, 5th of May 2017, Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium.
  • 2017    “La question foncière en Birmanie : éclairage historique et enjeux actuels”, CASE-CNRS workshop (Southeast Asia Center), Birmanie, la transition politique dans la recherche, 23rd of February 2017, INALCO, Paris, France.
  • 2016    “What is Local Politics in Burmese Heartland? An Anthropology of Village Headman’ (s)election in Myanmar central Dry Lands”, 12th International Burma Studies Conference (Traditions and Challenges), du 6 au 9 Octobre 2016, Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, États-Unis.
  • 2015    “Une terre publique dans le village. Trajectoire et conflits autour d’une parcelle en Birmanie centrale”, Journées Des Doctorants du LPED, Les usages du sol : conflit, concertation, conservation, 26 Mars 2015, Marseille, France.




  • 2017    “Whose village affairs? The making of lu-gyilegitimacy in the central Myanmar countryside”, Oxford-SOAS postgraduate workshop, 26-28 May 2017, Oxford, UK.
  • 2017    “La légitimation des grands hommes en Birmanie centrale. Affaires villageoises et relations de pouvoir dans un contexte bouddhique”, Séminaire général du Centre Asie du Sud-Est (EHESS/CNRS), Anciennes et nouvelles élites d’Aiside du Sud-Est : statuts, pouvoirs, légitimités et concurrences, 18 May 2017, Paris.
  • 2015    « The forgotten village. The negotiated local land governance in Myanmar central dry zone », Land tenure workshop - Institut Français de Birmanie, Bringin people together in transition, 24th of November 2015, Yangon, Myanmar.
  • 2015    « The politics of land governance in central Myanmar: the regulation of local land conflicts », PhD Course: Governance at the Edge of the State: Public authority and property in conflict environments,8th-11th of September 2015, University of Copenhagen (Department of Food and Resource Economics), Copenhagen, Denmark.

Centre Asie du Sud-Est (CASE)


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