The concern for ‘pro-poor’ land policy has coincided with the mainstream promotion of efficient administration of land policies, leading to the concept of ‘land governance’. This paper aims at better understanding of contemporary policy discourses and political contestations around land and land governance.
In Argentina, the accumulation of new lands for expanding mining and large-scale agribusiness requires displacement of current occupants. However, peasant resistance is shaping to achieve far-reaching structural change.
There is a lot of contention over approaches to land reform policy, in terms of how to involve the state, the market and communities; but what matters most for a socio-economically and politically sustainable solution, is that the policy is genuinely 'pro-poor'.
Although support from urban-based students and activists was important, the rural protest in Indonesia during President Suharto's regime was built on continued protest and organisation around land issues.
With two-thirds of the world’s poor rural poor, rural democratisation is clearly relevant and urgent, but at the same time an especially difficult--and underestimated--challenge. If democracy is to be organically rooted in any society, the struggle to “get there” must systematically be opened up to integrate rural poor citizens system-wide, taking stock of their aspirations and, more importantly, their existing efforts to gain control of decision-making affecting their lives.