Wednesday, July 03, 2013
PUBLICATION: Journal of Peasant Studies Forum on Global Land Grabbing Part 2: On Methodologies
A set of JPS publications are free for a limited time.
The recent ‘land rush’ precipitated by the convergent ‘crises’ of fuel, feed and food in 2007–08 has heightened the debate on the consequences of land investments. This ‘land rush’ 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 remains a hot political topic around the world, discussed amongst the highest circles. This is why getting the facts right is important and having effective methodologies for doing so is crucial. Several global initiatives have been created to aggregate information on land deals, and to describe their scale, character and distribution. All have contributed to building a bigger (if not always better) picture of the phenomenon, but all have struggled with methodology. This JPS Forum identifies uncertainty about what it is that is being counted, questions the methods used to collate and aggregate ‘land grabs’, and calls for a land grab research which abandons the aim of deriving total numbers of hectares in favour of more specific, grounded and transparent methods.