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.
The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has a long history of work in the field of land policy and agrarian reform, playing a lead role in international co-operation from its founding up until the 1970s. From the 1990s on, the initiative in the design and development of land policies and agrarian reform has been taken up by the World Bank, with the FAO generally following its policies.
In this study of the World Bank's role in Guatemala, Eric Holt-Giménez shows how its programme for market-led land reform there complements its strategy for opening the Western Highlands to extractive industries.
Brazil has not experienced any sort of major agrarian reform since then, but dozens of rural movements have been organised and hundreds of thousands of landless peasants have acquired the right of access to land (especially through settlement projects) as a result of these social movements’ struggles. After so many years of fighting and popular mobilisation, what are these movements’ contributions to building rural democracy? This study seeks to understand this process by evaluating social movements’ alliances (both rural and urban alliances) and evaluating their relationships with political parties, especially with the Workers Party (Partido dos Trabalhadores – PT) and with the Brazilian Federal Government.
Has political regime change led to changes in state-society relations? This study begins to address this question by analysing rural movement efforts to exercise newly-won citizen rights. The specific focus is on rural civil society initiatives to use the “right to know” as a tool to bolster long-standing campaigns to build self-managed, community-based economic development institutions, to bolster peasant influence over the policy process, to defend human rights, and to respect indigenous rights.
To be a strong peasant movement in a place like Chokwe, Mozambique requires going beyond ambiguous compromises to develop collective political thinking and to develop the capacity to use political power in ways that ensure that governmental and non-governmental organisations that help the peasantry act in line with what peasants wish and need.
In 2004 the EU Commission published EU Land Policy Guide-lines: Guidelines for Support to Land Policy Design and Land Policy Reform Process in Developing Countries. It proposes that steps be taken to allow the legal recognition of customary rights and to strengthen the institutional capacities of customary structures that enforce them.
This book aims to deepen the discussion by focusing on the Philippine agrarian reform experience, but drawing lessons that are relevant to theory-building and to policy discourse and political actions in situations elsewhere.
This paper examines the policies and practices on land of the Department for International Development (DFID) of the United Kingdom. After a market-led approach to land distribution in the 1980s, DFID made some changes towards a rights-based land policy, but this has since regressed.
This paper attempts to specify the key criteria of a ‘pro-poor land policy’ and ‘truly democratic land governance’ concerning state/public lands, using the lessons from activist databases, including that of the international human rights organization Foodfirst Information and Action Network (FIAN).
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.
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.
The dominant perception of land-grabbing as a threat is being replaced by a new story line, promoted by, amongst other, the World Bank—that of new land deals as a potential opportunity for rural development. But this supposed win-win formula raises many problems, doubts and concerns.
The term crisis implies a short lived period of uncertainty - suggesting there is something temporary or anomalous about the current state of the global economy. On the contrary, our global economy, from the financial clouds (or bubbles) to the real roots - where men and women work, live and survive - is suffering from systemic flaws based on an ever expanding void between rich and poor.