Globalisation and the foreignisation of space: seven processes driving the current global land grab

TitleGlobalisation and the foreignisation of space: seven processes driving the current global land grab
Annotated RecordNot Annotated
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsZoomers A
Secondary TitleThe Journal of Peasant Studies
Key themesConversion-FoodSecurity, Dispossession-grabbing, Environment, FDI, MigrationLabour, Urban

The current global land grab is causing radical changes in the use and ownership of land. The main process driving the land grab, or ‘foreignisation of space’, as highlighted in the media and the emerging literature is the production of food and biofuel for export in the aftermath of recent food and energy crises. However, there are several other processes driving the land rush. In this article I argue that an analytical framework that focuses on only one or two processes that drive the global land grab offers a narrow perspective on this complex process. It will be unable to take into account the full range and extent of agrarian and social changes that occur in light of the land grab and their strategic implications for poor people’s livelihoods. An important starting point is to identify the broad processes driving the current land rush, and trace their structural and institutional origins. To do so, I identify and examine seven factors that are giving rise to radical changes in landownership and land use in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Finally, ‘codes of conduct’ as proposed by several quarters in the context of global land grab are unlikely to work in favour of the poor.


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Document Type

Journal Article