Beyond the Global Land Grab
New Directions for Research on Land Struggles and Global Agrarian Change
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The conjunction of climate, food, and financial crises in the late 2000s triggered renewed interest in farmland and agribusiness investments around the world. This phenomenon became known as the "global land grab", and sparked vibrant debates among social movements, NGOs, international development agencies and various government agencies and academics worldwide.
This book addresses four key areas that are moving the debate "beyond land grabs". These include the role of contract farming and differentiation among farm workers in the consolidation of farmland; the broader forms of dispossession and mechanisms of control and value grabbing beyond "classic" land grabs for agricultural production; discourses about, and responses to, Chinese agribusiness investments abroad; and the relationship between financialization and land grabbing. The chapters in this edited volume propose new directions to deepen and even transform the research agenda on land struggles and agro-industrial restructuring around the world.
This book will be of great interest to scholars and researchers interested in development studies, agrarian changes and land struggles.
The chapters in this book were originally published as a special issue of the Globalizations.
Table of Contents
1. Beyond land grabs: new insights on land struggles and global agrarian change
Gustavo de L. T. Oliveira, Ben M. McKay and Juan Liu
2. Land grabs, farmworkers, and rural livelihoods in West Africa: some silences in the food sovereignty discourse
Adwoa Yeboah Gyapong
3. Bitter sugarification: sugar frontier and contract farming in Uganda
4. Access to land and the Round Table on Sustainable Palm Oil in Colombia
5. Landed value grabbing in the terroir of post-socialist specialty wine
A. June Brawner
6. Expulsion by pollution: the political economy of land grab for industrial parks in rural China
Hua Li and Lu Pan
7. Grounding Chinese investment: encounters between Chinese capital and local land politics in Laos
8. Shared interest or strategic threat? A critical investigation of political debates and regulatory responses to Chinese agricultural investment in Australia
9. Unpacking the finance-farmland nexus: circles of cooperation and intermediaries in Brazil
Bruno Rezende Spadotto, Yuri Martenauer Saweljew, Samuel Frederico and Fábio Teixeira Pitta
10. Network companies, land grabbing, and financialization in South America
Andrea P. Sosa Varrotti and Carla Gras
Gustavo de L. T. Oliveira is assistant professor of global and international studies at the University of California, Irvine. He works on global political ecology and critical geopolitics, focusing on agroindustrialization and transnational investments in land, infrastructure, and finance between China and Brazil. He has co-edited special issues of Political Geography, Globalizations, and the Journal of Peasant Studies, the latter having been republished as Soy, Globalization, and Environmental Politics in South America (Routledge 2018).
Juan Liu is associate professor of political ecology and agrarian studies at the College of Humanities and Development Studies, China Agricultural University (COHD-CAU) and a researcher at the Institute of Environmental Science and Technology, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (ICTA-UAB). Her research interests include energy transitions, migration and the left-behind population, land politics, and the political ecology of agriculture, food and environment, etc. She is the co-editor of Rural Transformations and Agro-Food Systems (Routledge, 2018).
Ben M. McKay is assistant professor of development and sustainability in the Department of Anthropology and Archaeology at the University of Calgary in Canada. His research focuses on the political economy and ecology of agrarian change in Latin America, agrarian extractivism, and food sovereignty alternatives. He is the author of The Political Economy of Agrarian Extractivism: Lessons from Bolivia (2020) and co-editor of The Elgar Handbook of Critical Agrarian Studies (2021) and Rural Transformations and Agro-Food Systems (Routledge, 2018).