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STEPS Seminar: Mathilde Gingembre – Bringing moral economy into the study of land deals: reflections from Madagascar

19th March 2019 @ 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm

Seminar organised by the Resource Politics and Rural Futures Clusters, in association with the STEPS Centre’s PASTRES project

Convening Space, Institute of Development Studies


View the slides from this talk (Slidehare)


[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9qC0YlUR3Rg[/embedyt]

This seminar discusses the concept of moral economy as a critical lens to understand responses to corporate land access within agrarian economies. Drawing on ethnographic work in an agropastoral area of southern Madagascar, the presentation will highlight how villagers’ perceptions of land deals as well as their decisions to express, or suppress, their voices in land deal negotiations are closely tied to considerations of relational justice.

Consultation processes for corporate land access within agrarian economies are the sites of multiple contentions, many of which divide the “local communities” themselves. Local people do not only disagree over which struggle to engage with (struggle against dispossession, struggle for incorporation), but also over the issue of who has rights to the land. In contexts where land tenure is characterised by flexibility and where land claims overlap and collide – as in rural Madagascar– choices as to who to involve locally in discussions over land transfers are sensitive and political. Beyond these tensions, however, a strong consensus on the moral economic obligations of those benefiting (directly or indirectly) from corporate land access is observed. The seminar explores the resistance to the “de-moralising of land deals” that is expressed by local people, across social divides.

About the speaker

Mathilde Gingembre is an anthropologist who has worked in Madagascar on land deals for a number of years. She completed her PhD at IDS, Sussex on this topic. She is now based in Amman, Jordan and is an affiliate researcher with the ERC-funded PASTRES project.

Everyone Welcome!



19th March 2019
1:00 pm - 2:30 pm
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Convening Space, Institute of Development Studies
Library Road, Falmer
Brighton, BN1 9RE United Kingdom
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