The politics of evidence: methodologies for understanding the global land rush
Borras Jrc, Saturnino M.
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Since the most recent ‘land rush’ precipitated by the convergent ‘crises’ of fuel, feed and food in 2007-08, the debate on the consequences of land investments has been massively heightened, with widespread media coverage, policy commentary and civil society engagement. The ‘land rush’ of recent years has been accompanied by a ‘literature rush’, with a fast-growing body of reports, articles, tables and books with varied purposes, metrics and methods. ‘Land grabbing’ is now a hot political topic around the world, discussed amongst the highest circles. This is why getting the facts right is really important, and having effective methodologies is crucial. Several global initiatives have set out to aggregate information on land deals, and to describe their scale, character and distribution. All have contributed to building a better picture of the phenomenon, but all have struggled with methodology. This JPS Forum identifies a profound uncertainty about what it is that is being counted, questions methods used to collate and aggregate ‘land grabs’, and calls for a second phase of land grab research which abandons the aim of deriving total numbers of hectares in favour of more specific, grounded and transparent methods.
CitationScoones, Ian, et al. "The politics of evidence: methodologies for understanding the global land rush." Journal of Peasant Studies 40.3 (2013): 469-483.
Rights holderTaylor and Francis
- ESRC STEPS Centre