Across much of Asia economic growth is spurring conflicts over land. Much of that economic growth is highly land-intensive, as the expansion of corporate activities in the sectors such as mining, hydropower, big agro-business (like palm oil or sugar cane), infrastructure or real estate development generate complex processes of land-use change. This expansion is having a massive impact on patterns of land tenure as private corporations as well as government agencies acquire control over land previously used by rural communities. As a growing literature on ‘land grabbing’ details, these processes of land acquisition often proceed without informed consent nor adequate compensation of affected people.
By bringing together studies of land dispossession from a range of different countries, the aim of the workshop is to engage in a comparative discussion of the relationship between states and private capital in the acquisition of rural land. So far, the growing literature on land grabbing has paid limited comparative attention to regional and sectoral variation. Dispossession is not only facilitating diverse economic sectors and trajectories of growth in different regions – in some places focused on agriculture and mining, in others urban-industrial land uses. There are also many indications that the ‘regimes of dispossession’ (Levien 2018) through which private capital acquires land differs markedly between countries and sectors. By bringing together analyses of processes of dispossession in different countries, we aim to develop a comparative understanding of the varied ‘regimes of dispossession’ across Asia. In doing so we aim not only to further the academic debates on land use change processes and land grabbing, but also to produce insights that bear relevance for social movements, NGOs, governments and development agencies involved in efforts to strengthen land rights.
Speakers include: Michael Levien, Ryan Stack (on India), Kasia Paprocki (on Bangladesh), Ward Berenschot and Ahmad Dhiaulhaq (on Indonesia), Joel Andreas (China), Bernardo Ribeiro de Almeida (on East Timor), Miles Kenney-Lazar (on Laos), Neil Loughlin and Sarah Milne (on Cambodia), Shaohua Zhan (on China), Aisha Ahmad (on Pakistan), Mihika Chatterjee (on India)
While this is a closed seminar, those interested in the topic can attend. If so, we please contact Ward Berenschot: [email protected].
Date & time
Time: Thursday 25 february 13:00 – 17:00 and Friday 26 February 13:00 – 17:00.