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date: 23 September 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The 2007–2008 global food crisis has been followed by a rapid acceleration in large-scale agricultural land deals, which activists have labeled a “global land grab.” This chapter explores the origins of this twenty-first century agricultural land rush, its geography, and the responses it has engendered. The origins of the land rush are located in interlinked food, financial, and ecological crises that are indicative of fundamental shifts in the global political economy. In response to these crises, land grabbing represents an effort to reconstruct a stable political-economic order, both on the part of investment capital seeking to relaunch accumulation and on the part of political actors and companies seeking to secure stable supplies of food and energy. The geography of the land rush is analyzed through the interrelated variables of land availability, the structural position of a country in the global economy, and a country’s domestic institutional structure. Finally, the main theoretical positions in the debate over land deals are linked to distinct political responses. The real historical significance of the structural changes behind the agricultural land rush suggests that the implications of the land rush will be both durable and systemic.

Keywords: land grabbing, food crisis, political economy, agrarian question, agricultural investment, food system

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