Contested Global Landscapes

A Multidisciplinary Initiative of the Cornell Institute for the Social Sciences

Around the 2nd International Conference on Land Grabbing this week, we’re running a series of guest blogs by conference speakers. The first is by Dr Matias Margulis, Postdoctoral Fellow
 at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies.

High-level meetings, policies and negotiations seem a long way from farmers’ fields. But although land grabs occur in very defined geographic localities, there has been an increasing interest by activists, policymakers and researchers in global and transnational forms of land governance. In the last three years, two very high profile global rule-making projects have directly sought to address land grabbing: the recently endorsed Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the Context of National Food Security and the Principles for Responsible Investment in Agriculture (still under development). Given the history of the international system, these developments are truly novel and significant because they represent the emergence of what one might call global/transnational land governance – something which has never existed before.

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