Contested Global Landscapes

A Multidisciplinary Initiative of the Cornell Institute for the Social Sciences

Chair: Carlos Oya, School of Oriental and African Studies, UK *Claudia Piacenza, University of Wageningen, Netherlands, Negotiating gender property  relations over land: oil palm production in Kalangala district, Uganda *Christophe Gironde, Asian Studies, Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Switzerland, Rubber-tree boom in Cambodia: assessing small landholders enthusiasm *Alex Dubb, Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies (PLAAS), University of the Western Cape, South Africa, Social reproduction, accumulation and […]

Categories: Panel Summaries

Chair: Ben White, International Institute of Social Studies (ISS), Netherlands *Lauren Honig, Department of Government, Cornell University, USA, State Land Transfers and Local Authorities in Zambia *Amanda Hammar, Centre for African Studies, Copenhagen University, Denmark, The Missing Middle: Exploring what lies between mega-project mania and peasant populism in Mozambique *Erwin Suryana and Dianto Bachriadi, Agrarian Resource Center (ARC), Indonesia, Land Grabbing and Speculation for Energy Business: A Case Study of […]

Categories: Panel Summaries

Protestors against dams in India

by Kathleen Sexsmith

Although scholars on the Politics of Land Deals: Regional Perspectives panel on Oct 17th presented perspectives from disparate locations across the globe, their findings presented a number of commonalities in the ways these processes are taking place – and being resisted.

The violent and coercive role of the state in the dispossession of agricultural producers in India and Ecuador was well documented by Michael Levien (Michael's paper - pdf) and Juli Hazlewood respectively. The recently retooled Ecuadorian Constitution – internationally hailed as a means of restoring the rights of nature and the social-nature metabolism – is paradoxically providing a constitutional means for the potential use of military force against resisters, by placing rights to “ecological services” in the hands of the government.

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Chair: Melissa Leach, Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex, UK *Kathleen McAfee, International Relations, San Francisco State University, USA, Selling nature through green grabbing: discourses and resistances *Karen Rignall, post-doctoral fellow, Center for Contemporary Arab Studies, Georgetown University, USA, Theorizing sovereignty in Terra Nullius: the land tenure implications of concentrated solar power in pre-Saharan Morocco *Hannah Wittman, Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability, University of British Columbia, Canada, Climate, […]

Categories: Panel Summaries

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, who is a Postdoctoral Fellow
 at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies and Assistant Professor at the University of Northern British Columbia. High-level meetings, policies and negotiations seem a long way from farmers’ fields. But although land grabs occur in […]

This is a guest blog by Teo Ballvé, one of the speakers at the 2nd International Conference on Land Grabbing this week. With the start of peace negotiations this week that will hopefully bring an end to Colombia’s civil war, it’s time for researchers and watchdog groups to take a closer look at the role of armed conflict in the rising global interest in farmland. For a variety of armed […]

Blog post by Holly Jean Buck, Doctoral researcher, Cornell University The first day of the 2nd International Conference on Global Land Grabbing got off to a dynamic start with a plenary panel on big-picture questions, featuring Melissa Leach (STEPS Centre), Lorenzo Cotula (IIED), Sam Moyo (African Institute for Agrarian Studies), Eric Holt-Gimenez (FoodFirst!), and Tania Li (University of Toronto). The discussion was very wide-ranging, but here are 10 of the […]

By Ryan Nehring, Cornell University Governance of land deals is a hot topic at the moment. Eric Holt-Gimenez chaired the first panel of the conference on issues of governance, rules and formalizing land grad deals. First, Aaron de Grassi showed how the historical relations with Portuguese settlers has shaped, and continues to shape, pressures for agrarian change in land-use. Aaron used the history of spatial relations with land in Angola […]

By Youjin Brigitte Chung, Cornell University What are the different perspectives from which we can frame the land grab debate? This was the overarching theme of the first parallel session of the 2nd International Conference on Land Grabbing. The panelists for this session – Farshad Araghi (Florida Atlantic University), Tania Li (University of Toronto), Phil McMichael (Cornell University), and Pauline Peters (Harvard University) – all provided different standpoints from which […]

By Holly Jean Buck, Cornell University One popular question about land grabbing today was: What is new about the phenomenon? How is it distinctive from dispossessions and enclosures throughout history? One possible answer is: it is taking place in the Anthropocene, the so-called age of humans, where humanity has become a geological agent through its modifications in earth processes. Land grabs have the strange position of both deriving from and […]