Global land grabbing and political reactions 'from below'

Saturnino M. Borras*, Jennifer C. Franco

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter/Conference proceedingChapterAcademic

1 Citation (Scopus)


Contemporary large-scale land deals are widely understood as involving the expulsion of people who, in turn, struggle instinctively to resist dispossession This is certainly true in many instances. Yet this chain of events evidently does not always occur: large-scale land deals do not always result in people losing the land, and many of those who face expulsion do not necessarily respond with the kind of resistance often expected of them. Indeed, much evidence shows that the nature of and responses to big land deals can (and do) vary across and within 'local communities'. Taking off analytically from a relatively narrow selection of cases, the expulsion-resistance scenario is too often assumed rather than demonstrated, thereby leaving many inconvenient facts undetected and unexplained. This suggests a need to step back and problematise the variable and uneven responses 'from below' to land grabbing, both within and between communities. This paper offers an initial exploration into why poor people affected by contemporary land deals (re)act the way they do, noting how issues and processes unite and divide them. This helps explain variation in political trajectories in the context of land grabbing today.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGlobal Land Grabs
Subtitle of host publicationHistory, Theory and Method
EditorsM Edelman, C Oya, S.M. Borras
Place of PublicationAbingdon, UK
Number of pages25
ISBN (Electronic)9781317569503
ISBN (Print)9781138830530
Publication statusPublished - 22 Mar 2016

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