Land sovereignty

Dramatic changes around food, climate, energy, and finance in recent years have pushed questions of land use and land control back onto the centre stage of development discourse, at the very moment when the same conditions are spurring an unprecedented rush for land and water across the globe. A fusion of the industrial agro-food and energy complexes has made land and water key resources in the global capitalist system again, fuelling in turn a huge renewed process of enclosure known as the ‘global land grab’. There is a need to come to grips with land issues in a changing global context and to rethink what may be needed to mobilise effectively in such a setting. Neither land reform nor land tenure security alone are well-equipped to be frameworks for analysis or action in the current conjuncture. If, as our analysis suggests, there is a need to transition the people’s demand for land from ‘land reform’ and ‘land tenure security’ to something else, then ‘land sovereignty’ as a framework is worth considering.