Global land grabs: History, theory and method

Marc Edelman*, Carlos Oya, Saturnino M. Borras

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Book/Report/Inaugural speech/Farewell speechBookAcademic

4 Citations (Scopus)


Since the 2008 world food crisis a surge of land grabbing swept Africa, Asia and Latin America and even some regions of Europe and North America. Investors have uprooted rural communities for massive agricultural, biofuels, mining, industrial and urbanisation projects. 'Water grabbing' and 'green grabbing' have further exacerbated social tensions. Early analyses of land grabbing focused on foreign actors, the biofuels boom and Africa, and pointed to catastrophic consequences for the rural poor. Subsequently scholars carried out local case studies in diverse world regions. The contributors to this volume advance the discussion to a new stage, critically scrutinizing alarmist claims of the first wave of research, probing the historical antecedents of today's land grabbing, examining large-scale land acquisitions in light of international human rights and investment law, and considering anew longstanding questions in agrarian political economy about forms of dispossession and accumulation and grassroots resistance. Readers of this collection will learn about the impacts of land and water grabbing; the relevance of key theorists, including Marx, Polanyi and Harvey; the realities of China's involvement in Africa; how contemporary land grabbing differs from earlier plantation agriculture; and how social movements-and rural people in general-are responding to this new threat. This book was published as a special issue of Third World Quarterly.

Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationLondon
Number of pages26
ISBN (Electronic)9781317569503
ISBN (Print)9781138830530, 9781138691308
Publication statusPublished - 22 Mar 2016

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