What shall we do without our land? Land Grabs and Resistance in Rural Cambodia

TitleWhat shall we do without our land? Land Grabs and Resistance in Rural Cambodia
Annotated RecordNot Annotated
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsSchneider A
Secondary TitleInternational Conference on Global Land Grabbing
Issue6-8 April
PublisherLand Deals Politics Initiative (LDPI)
Key themesAccessToJustice, Dispossession-grabbing, FDI, MarginalisedPeople

Political dynamics of the global land grab are exemplified in Cambodia, where at least 27 forced evictions took place in 2009, affecting 23,000 people. Evictions of the rural poor are legitimized by the assumption that non-private land is idle, marginal, or degraded and available for capitalist exploitation. This paper: (1) questions the assumption that land is idle; (2) explores whether land grabs can be regulated through a ‘code of conduct’; and (3) examines peasant resistance to land grabs. Overall, the Cambodian case studies confirm that land grabs are not benefiting the rural poor, but they challenge the process of dispossession. Although ‘everyday forms of peasant politics’ are prevalent, more organized and structured forms of political contention by rural poor communities and their NGO allies are slowly emerging.


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Conference Proceedings