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.
Harold Liversage, the Land Tenure Adviser for the International Fund for Agricultural Development argues that responsible investment in agriculture is possible if voluntary guidelines are backed up by an empowered civil society.
This introduction to Land Grabbing and agrarian political economy looks at various issues in the debate, the different theoretical perspectives, as well as the relations between state, capital and society, and the politics of change, resistance and mobilisation for alternatives.
Transnational Agrarian Movements (TAMs) have emerged in the last decade, resisting and contesting unfair land policies; but how do they differ from region to region, and how do their ideological, political and institutional differences affect their relationship to international development agencies?
Calls for codes of conduct for landgrabbing not only fail to tackle the main drivers of land dispossession but also legitimise a new wave of land enclosures that will affect many vulnerable rural communities.