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Confronting authoritarian populism: a new initiative and a new paper

A few weeks back, I highlighted the launch of the Emancipatory Rural Politics Initiative (ERPI), and the availability of small grants for doing research on both the contours of the current conjuncture, and how authoritarian populism emerges and is sustained in rural areas, as well as the forms of resistance and diversity of alternatives being…

A woman pumps water into a bucket in Mozambique

How water became a casualty of Mozambique’s debt crisis

One interesting aspect of doing fieldwork is that you get to understand some theoretical premises better. One such premise related to my PhD research is that the water/development nexus can only be properly understood when situated in the broader (national and global) political economy. This became clear when in April of this year, I set…

Africa’s land rush

There is a rush on for African farmland – a phenomenon unmatched since colonial times. Africa’s land rush, and the implications for rural livelihoods and agrarian change, is the subject of a new book that I have edited together with Ruth Hall (from PLAAS at UWC, South Africa) and Dzodzi Tsikata (ISSER, University of Ghana at Legon)….

A human rights approach to Water and Food Security connections

A new report on water for food security and nutrition led by Lyla Mehta shows how land, food and water issues are inextricably linked and must be reflected in policymaking In the Red Room of Rome’s Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, a landmark report is being launched this morning, which, in the…

Displaced by ‘development’: land, water and protest in Modi’s India

In the Narmada valley in western India, displaced people and activists are protesting against displacement, submergence and the violation of their basic rights. 20 activists, including Alok Agarwal, senior activist of the Narmada Bachao Andolan (Save the Narmada Movement), have been standing or sitting waist-deep in the submergence waters of the Omkareshwar dam in Madhya…

Talking Zimbabwe & Land Reform at ASAUK14 this Wednesday

New research from Zimbabwe will be shared at a double panel session at the UK African Studies Association conference this week. This year’s event is at the University of Sussex, and our session is on Wednesday 10 September from 9 till 10.30 and 11 to 12.30. The session has been organised by Gareth James of…

Land grabs: knowledge and resistance

by Nathan Oxley, STEPS Centre communications officer Shalmali Guttal from Focus on the Global South addresses the opening plenary The Global Land Grabbing II conference at Cornell last week brought together an impressive range of people with different disciplines, views and experience on large scale land deals – a phenomenon that’s erupted worldwide in the…

GLOBAL LAND GRABBING II

See videos, photos, blogs and more from the second international conference on ‘Global Land Grabbing’. The STEPS Centre also has a range of useful resources on land, green and water grabs. Organised by the Land Deal Politics Initiative (LDPI) and the Cornell Department of Development Sociology, two of the STEPS Centre’s directors – Melissa Leach and Ian Scoones – presented…

Green Grabs explained: radio interview with Melissa Leach

Last week, our director Melissa Leach was interviewed about green grabs – the appropriation of land for environmental ends – by Brent Bambury of the Canadian station CBC Radio. Here’s a direct link to the interview, and you can stream the audio below, after the jump. Green grabs: appropriating nature – STEPS Centre website

BBC COVERAGE OF ZIMBABWE LAND REFORM RESEARCH

Zimbabwe’s land reform since 2000 has been intensely controversial. Overturning the settler colonial pattern of land use and creating a new agrarian structure has had far-reaching consequences. Yet the debate about what happened, where and to who has too often been shallow and ill-informed, and not based on solid empirical evidence from the field. STEPS…