Affordable Access

Publisher Website

Comment on Lansing/de Vet’s paper

Human Ecology
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1007/s10745-012-9497-0
  • Article
  • Agricultural Science
  • Political Science


Comment on Lansing/de Vet’s paper Brigitta Hauser-Schäublin Published online: 4 June 2012 # The Author(s) 2012. This article is published with open access at Lansing/de Vet’s article tries to substantiate the conclusion Lansing has presented in all his publications since “Priests and Programmers”, namely that the irrigation management was exclusively performed by water temples and their com- moner priests. These water temples accomplished a synchro- nization of irrigation agriculture that was a means to achieve the sharing of water (up-stream/down-stream) and pest control. Furthermore, he suggested that subak (irrigation associations) have been democratic organizations run exclusively by farm- ers; no lords or rulers were involved in the management of irrigation agriculture. Lansing’s theoretical approach consti- tutes a grid which has been applied to the colonial literature in a deductive way and to data collection during fieldwork. The submitted article documents this perspective too. Three issues have come under criticism from different scholars: A) The allegedly democratic organization of irri- gation agriculture, the non-involvement of lords and the commoner-based water temples (Schulte Nordholt, myself). B) The pest control as a goal of the water temple management and the synchronization of water use (Vayda, Falvo). C) The way Lansing has arbitrarily made use of sources (theory- driven reading of sources; “confirmation bias”) so that they are made to fit his purpose (myself, Schulte Nordholt, Vayda). In the submitted article, the authors react to critiques only in a restricted way; mainly to two articles published in Human Ecology 39,1 2011 and to a chapter by Vayda (2009). They react to A) and B), but not to C). The arguments put forward hardly convey new insights. The figures and lists of subak provided barely contribute to the clarification of the issues debated. The abstract seems to belong to another article (with the exception of the last two sentences)

There are no comments yet on this publication. Be the first to share your thoughts.


Seen <100 times

More articles like this

Comment on papers on NRPB study of the UK test vet...

on Journal of radiological protec... June 2005

Dr. A. C. De Vet.

on Psychiatria, neurologia, neuro... 1970
More articles like this..