Journal Articles

Oil palm expansion without enclosure: smallholders and environmental narratives

Background

Oil palm expansion has been shown to cause deforestation and reduce land and resource availability for communities located near plantations. It has also been shown to have mixed impacts on local livelihoods. Some studies point to socially different impacts, with small and marginal farmers less likely to benefit from oil palm expansion while others find significant increases in incomes. This paper seeks to understand the factors that make smallholder farmers participate in oil palm expansion, and outline the varied narratives that are used by the proponents of oil palm expansion.

Available with subscription or purchase

Inverting the moral economy: the case of land acquisitions for forest plantations in Tanzania

Background

Available with subscription or purchase

Jatropha plantations for biodiesel in Tamil Nadu, India: Viability, livelihood trade-offs, and latent conflict

Background

Available with subscription or purchase

Resistance, acquiescence or incorporation? An introduction to land grabbing and political reactions ‘from below'

Background

While several research studies have examined the processes surrounding rural land transformation(s), and, in particular, the accumulation of public land by private entities, there are few studies that examine the responses of locally impacted people to these processes. This paper introduces a set of articles which discuss the varied reactions that local people have to the acquisition of public land and the ways in which they are formed and expressed.

Open access copy available

Carbon colonialism and the new land grab: Plantation forestry in Uganda and its livelihood impact

Background

There has been a global increase in private sector investments towards activities plantations for clean fuel or climate change mitigation that are justified on the basis of their environmentally beneficial outcomes. This paper examines the discourses and mechanisms that enable the greater privatization of land and other resources using green development as a justification.

Available with subscription or purchase

Forest plantations and climate change discourses: New powers of ‘green’ grabbing in Cambodia

Background

Forestry-based emissions reduction programs are increasingly being presented as a solution to climate change. Technical experts argue that keeping existing forests standing and creating new forests can help remove carbon emissions. However, several researchers point to a gap between the stated objectives of these programs and their biophysical and unintended socioeconomic outcomes. For example, some negative socioeconomic outcomes may include the displacement of local communities or the loss of customary common land. This paper studies the socioeconomic impacts of Cambodia’s first large scale reforestation project for climate change mitigation.

Available with subscription or purchase

Grey areas in green grabbing: subtle and indirect interconnections between climate change politics and land grabs and their implications for research

Background

Available with subscription or purchase

Green Grabbing: a new appropriation of nature?

Background

The authors introduce a set of papers which collectively discuss discourses and processes surrounding the transfer of ownership, user rights, or control over land and resources to meet environmental goals such as the production of biofuels or carbon sequestration, dispossessing some of their land while contributing to increasing the accumulation of property for others. The papers were originally presented at the International Conference on Global Land Grabbing and contribute to existing debates around land grabbing by building on the concept of ‘green grabbing’, wherein the appropriation of land is justified on environmental grounds.

Open access copy available

The tragedy of the commons

Background

Written in the late 1960s, this paper suggests that over population is a major challenge for continued human well-being, and especially for the management of commons. It uses examples of over-grazing in common lands and pollution management to argue that individuals are likely to look out for their own interest and continue to use common resources or pollute them acting as though they were available infinitely. While this tendency does not have negative consequences when the population is low, it can make resource management more challenging as the population increases.

Open access copy available

Showing and Telling: Australian Land Rights and Material Moralities

Background

In Kowanyama, Queensland, Aboriginal groups have property rights to several thousand square miles which are opposed by groups such as local pastoralists and the National Parks service. This paper explores the processes through which one group, the Kunjen community, asserts its moral and political claims over the disputed area through stories and material artefacts.

Available with subscription or purchase
Subscribe to Journal Articles