When the 2007-2008 food and financial crises triggered a global wave of land grabbing, scholars, activists and policy practitioners assumed that this would be met with massive peasant resistance. As empirical evidence accumulated, however, it became clear that political reactions ‘from below’ to land grabbing were quite varied and complex. Violent resistance, outright expulsions, everyday ‘weapons of the weak’ and demands for better terms of incorporation into land deals were among the outcomes that emerged. Readers of this collection will encounter a multinational group of scholars who use the tools of social movements theory and critical agrarian studies to examine cases from Argentina, Mexico, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Colombia, Ethiopia, Madagascar, Mozambique, Uganda, Mali, Ukraine, India, and Laos, as well as the Rio +20 Sustainable Development Conference. Initiatives ‘from below’ in response to land deals have involved local and transnational alliances and the use of legal and extra-legal methods, and have brought victories and defeats. This book was first published as a special issue of The Journal of Peasant Studies.
Table of Contents
1. Resistance, acquiescence or incorporation? An introduction to land grabbing and political reactions ‘from below’
Ruth Hall, Marc Edelman, Saturnino M. Borras Jr., Ian Scoones, Ben White and Wendy Wolford
2. Anything but a story foretold: multiple politics of resistance to the agrarian extractivist project in Guatemala
3. Listening to their silence? The political reaction of affected communities to large-scale land acquisitions: insights from Ethiopia
4. Land grabbing, legal contention and institutional change in Colombia
5. Resistance or participation? Fighting against corporate land access amid political uncertainty in Madagascar
6. Policy processes of a land grab: at the interface of politics ‘in the air’ and politics ‘on the ground’ in Massingir, Mozambique
7. Resistance or adaptation? Ukrainian peasants’ responses to large-scale land acquisitions
8. Politics from below? Small-, mid- and large-scale land dispossession in Teso, Uganda, and the relevance of scale
9. Social struggles in Uganda’s Acholiland: understanding responses and resistance to Amuru sugar works
10. Territorial restructuring and resistance in Argentina
Zoe W. Brent
11. Networked, rooted and territorial: green grabbing and resistance in Chiapas
Dianne E. Rocheleau
12. Guerrilla agriculture? A biopolitical guide to illicit cultivation within an IUCN Category II protected area
Connor Joseph Cavanagh and Tor A. Benjaminsen
13. Reclaiming the worker’s property: control grabbing, farmworkers and the Las Tunas Accords in Nicaragua
Bradley R. Wilson
14. The ‘Goan Impasse’: land rights and resistance to SEZs in Goa, India
15. Oil palm expansion without enclosure: smallholders and environmental narratives
Antonio Castellanos-Navarrete and Kees Jansen
16. Rubber, rights and resistance: the evolution of local struggles against a Chinese rubber concession in Northern Laos
Karen E. McAllister
17. Space for pluralism? Examining the Malibya land grab
18. The right to resist: disciplining civil society at Rio+20
Catherine Corson, Bridget Brady, Ahdi Zuber, Julianna Lord and Angela Kim
Marc Edelman is professor of anthropology at Hunter College, USA, and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, USA. His books include The logic of the latifundio (1992), Peasants against globalization (1999), The anthropology of development and globalization (co-edited 2005), Social democracy in the global periphery (co-authored 2007), Transnational agrarian movements confronting globalization (co-edited 2008), and Global land grabs: history, theory and method (co-edited 2015).
Ruth Hall is an associate professor at the Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies (PLAAS) at the University of the Western Cape, South Africa, and holds a DPhil in politics from the University of Oxford, UL. Her research focuses on land and agrarian reform in South Africa, and she also does research on land rights, agricultural commercialization and ‘land grabbing’ in Africa. She is a founding member and co-convenor of the Land Deal Politics Initiative and the BRICS Initiative in Critical Agrarian Studies, and is the coordinator of the Future Agricultures Consortium’s work on land in Africa and coordinator of its regional hub for Southern Africa.
Saturnino M. Borras Jr. is a professor of agrarian studies at the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS) in The Hague, the Netherlands, an adjunct professor at China Agricultural University in Beijing, and a fellow of the Amsterdam-based Transnational Institute (TNI) and of the California- based Institute for Food and Development Policy (Food First). He is a founding member and co-convenor of the Land Deal Politics Initiative.
Ian Scoones is a professorial fellow at the Institute of Development Studies at the University of Sussex, UK, and Director of the ESRC STEPS Centre, UK. He works on land, agricultural and agrarian and environmental change in Africa. He is a founding member and co-convenor of the Land Deal Politics Initiative.
Ben White is an emeritus professor of rural sociology at the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS) in The Hague, the Netherlands. His research has focused mainly on processes of agrarian change and the anthropology and history of childhood and youth. He has been engaged in research on these issues in Indonesia since the early 1970s.
Wendy Wolford is Polson Professor of Development Sociology at Cornell University, USA. Her research interests include the political economy of development, social movements, land distribution, agricultural knowledge and the politics of land management. She is a founding member and co-convenor of the Land Deal Politics Initiative and a member of the editorial collective of the Journal of Peasant Studies.