On ‘being collective’:
A patchwork conversation with Somsook Boonyabancha on poverty, collective land tenure and Thailand’s Baan Mankong programme
Brenda Perez-Castro in conversation with Somsook Boonyabancha
Keywords: collective land, cooperatives, land tenure, poverty, informality, Thailand
Understanding rent struggles as encompassing a wide array of social relations and processes, RHJ Editors decided to include a conversation in this issue that explores collective ownership and alternative modes of land tenure. We view questions about alternative modes of housing production and ownership as key in rethinking the foundation of landlord and tenant relationships and traditional forms of housing tenure more broadly. In this conversation, Brenda Pérez-Castro, who works at the Asian Coalition for Housing Rights (ACHR) secretariat in Bangkok and the former director of the Community Organizations Development Institute (CODI) in Thailand, Somsook Boonyabancha, discuss how notions of collectivity emerge and operate as a protection from market enclosure. Based on Boonyabancha’s vast experience within the Baan Mankong programme and beyond, she reflects on the role of collectiveness in wider social processes, and discusses the challenges of different social actors, including the state, in strengthening collective action that support housing security.