feed-image RSS

Journal special issues

folder Journal special issues

Cover of Journal of Peasant StudiesFuture Agricultures members occasionally contribute to special issues of journals. These provide thorough, peer-reviewed studies of  the big issues affecting agricultural research and policy in Africa today.

Journal issues are not normally available free of charge, though selected articles are sometimes offered free or at a discount.


Default China and Brazil in African Agriculture Popular

By 942 downloads

Scoones, I., Cabral, L. and Tugendhat, H.
IDS Bulletin 44.4

This IDS Bulletin draws on work from the Future Agricultures project on China and Brazil in African Agriculture.

There is currently much talk of the role of the 'rising powers' in Africa, and whether their engagements represent a 'new paradigm' in development cooperation. This IDS Bulletin examines Brazilian and Chinese agricultural development cooperation in Africa focusing on different financial modalities, practices and politics of engagement, the 'encounters' that occur during negotiations, and the intersection of wider framing discourses with practices on the ground.

Looking at Ethiopia, Ghana, Mozambique and Zimbabwe gives an insight into the country-level dynamics at play specifically in the agricultural sector; and considering Brazil and China's own domestic experiences of agricultural development gives an understanding of the 'models' on offer, assessing the potential for their adaptation to African contexts.

Articles in this issue examine the cultural and social framings that influence the development encounter, and the underlying knowledge politics and structural power relations. Using a comparative approach an insight is gained into the importance of context and the role of individuals, bureaucracies, and historical experiences, in shaping the form new cooperation engagements take place. Also covered are the practices and micro-politics of such engagements, and how individuals bring with them ideas, experiences and biases which ultimately shape outcomes.

By providing a reflection on what is happening within agriculture, this IDS Bulletin concentrates on a sector central to Africa's development effort. This emerging field of research continues largely unexplored and it is hoped the insights developed here can be used to unpack and interrogate further the emerging 'development encounters', and pose new questions for further work.

Bulletin cover - China and Brazil in African AgricultureNew Development Encounters: China and Brazil in African Agriculture (free download)
Ian Scoones, Lídia Cabral and Henry Tugendhat

South–South Cooperation in Africa: Historical, Geopolitical and Political Economy Dimensions of International Development
Kojo Sebastian Amanor

What can Africa Learn from China's Experience in Agricultural Development?
Li Xiaoyun, Tang Lixia, Xu Xiuli, Qi Gubo and Wang Haimin

Chinese Agriculture Development Cooperation in Africa: Narratives and Politics
Lila Buckley

Brazil–Africa Agricultural Cooperation Encounters: Drivers, Narratives and Imaginaries of Africa and Development
Lídia Cabral, Alex Shankland, Arilson Favareto and Alcides Costa Vaz

How Brazil’s Agrarian Dynamics Shape Development Cooperation in Africa
Francesco Maria Pierri

Expanding Agri-business: China and Brazil in Ghanaian Agriculture
Kojo Sebastian Amanor

Negotiating New Relationships: How the Ethiopian State is Involving China and Brazil in Agriculture and Rural Development
Dawit Alemu and Ian Scoones

Brazil and China in Mozambican Agriculture: Emerging Insights from the Field
Sérgio Chichava, Jimena Duran, Lídia Cabral, Alex Shankland, Lila Buckley, Tang Lixia and Zhang Yue

Reviving Zimbabwe’s Agriculture: The Role of China and Brazil
Langton Mukwereza

Default Development and Change: Governing the Global Land Grab: The Role of the State in the Rush for Land Popular

By 1304 downloads

Development and Change
March 2013
Volume 44, Issue 2
Pages 189–471
Issue edited by: Wendy Wolford, Saturnino M. Borras Jr., Ruth Hall, Ian Scoones, Ben White

Published by Wiley-Blackwell (Oxford) on behalf of the Institute of Social Studies (ISS), Development and Change appears six times per year.

This issue of Development and Change is linked to the work of the Land Deal Politics Initiative, supported by the Future Agricultures land theme.

DevandChange1Governing Global Land Deals The Role of the State in the Rush for Land
Wendy Wolford, Saturnino M. Borras Jr., Ruth Hall, Ian Scoones and Ben White

State Involvement, Land Grabbing and Counter-insurgency in Columbia
Jacobo Grajales

Road Mapping: Megaprojects and Land Grabs in the Northern Guatemalan Lowlands
Liza Grandia

Land Regularization in Brazil and the Global Land Grab
Gustavo de L.T. Oliveira

Negotiating Environmental Sovereignty in Costa Rica
Dana J. Graef

Building the Politics Machine: Tools for 'Resolving' the Global Land Grab
Michael B. Dwyer

Indirect Dispossession: Domestic Power Imbalances and Foreign Access to Land in Mozambique
Madeleine Fairbairn

Competition over Authority and Access: International Land Deals in Madagascar
Perrine Burnod, Mathilde Gingembre and Rivo Andrianirina Ratsialonana

Regimes of Dispossession: From Steel Towns to Special Economic Zones
Michael Levien

The Political Construction of 'Wasteland': Governmentality, Land Acquisition and Social Inequality in South India
Jennifer Baka

Chinese Land-Based Interventions in Senegal
Lila Buckley

Identity, Territory and Land Conflict in Brazil
LaShandra P. Sullivan

Default IDS Virtual Bulletin: Ending Hunger and Malnutrition Popular

By 893 downloads

IDS Virtual Bulletin 2
Editor: Haddad, L.
Free download

This 'virtual bulletin' by the Institute of Development Studies, the second in a series, brings together articles published between 1982 and 2012 on this critical issue. It includes articles produced as part of Future Agricultures work (highlighted below in bold). The articles are free to download.

IDS Virtual BulletinsPost-harvest Technology and the Reduction of Hunger
Volume 13, Issue 3, June 1982
Michael Lipton

Household Food Strategies in Response to Seasonality and Famine
Volume 17, Issue 3, July 1986
Richard Longhurst

Cash Crops, Household Food Security and Nutrition
Volume 19, Issue 2, July 1988
Richard Longhurst

Understanding and Preventing Famine and Famine Mortality
Volume 24, Issue 4, October 1993
Jeremy Swift

Linking Relief and Development: An Introduction and Overview
Volume 25, Issue 4, October 1994
Margaret Buchanan-Smith and Simon Maxwell

Reconsidering ‘Famine’
Volume 33, Issue 4, October 2002
Paul Howe

Introduction: New Directions for African Agriculture
Volume 36, Issue 2, April 2005
Ian Scoones, Stephen Devereux and Lawrence Haddad

Lifting the Curse: Overcoming Persistent Undernutrition in India
Volume 40, Issue 4, July 2009
Lawrence Haddad

Accelerating Malnutrition Reduction in Orissa
Volume 40, Issue 4, July 2009
Mona Sharma, Biraj Laxmi Sarangi, Jyoti Kanungo, Sridhar Sahoo, Lopamudra Tripathy, Amalin Patnaik, Jyoti Tewari and Alison Dembo Rath

The Politics of Seed in Africa’s Green Revolution: Alternative Narratives and Competing Pathways
Volume 42, Issue 4, July 2011
Ian Scoones and John Thompson

Whose Power to Control? Some Reflections on Seed Systems and Food Security in a Changing World
Volume 42, Issue 4, July 2011
Geoff Tansey

Food from the Courts: The Indian Experience
Volume 43, Issue s1, July 2012
Harsh Mander

Default Young People and Agriculture in Africa Popular

By 1017 downloads

Sumberg, J. and Wellard, K.
IDS Bulletin 43.6
Publisher IDS
Despite increased commitment to evidence-based policy in African agriculture, the profile of certain 'problems', and the imperative to address them quickly through policy and programmes, becomes separated from evidence and understanding. When this happens, policy advocates, policymakers and development planners rely heavily on 'common knowledge', anecdote and narrative to develop and argue policy alternatives. This is unlikely to result in good policy and development outcomes, particularly when the problems being addressed are associated with complexities such as poverty, livelihoods, agrarian transitions, social justice or sustainability. It is important to ask how common policy responses articulate with ongoing economic, social and political transitions, and with young people's own imperatives, aspirations, strategies and activities.

In March 2012 the Future Agricultures Consortium and the Institute of Statistical, Social, and Economic Research co-hosted an international conference on 'Young People, Farming and Food' in Accra, Ghana. This conference examined how young people engage with the agri-food sector in Africa and how research findings were being integrated into policy processes. It also explored the dynamics of change in different components of the agri-food sector and the implications for young people.

The articles in this IDS Bulletin are drawn from the conference. They discuss social and economic structures, aspirations, livelihoods, land and policy, and illustrate the multiple dimensions, scales and complex dynamics of the young people and agriculture 'problem' – and why simplistic 'solutions' are likely to fail. It is hoped that this collection will stimulate the research to fill an evidence gap of very significant proportions.

youngbulletinsIntroduction: The Young People and Agriculture 'Problem' in Africa
James Sumberg, Nana Akua Anyidoho, Jennifer Leavy, Dolf te Lintelo and Kate Wellard

Agriculture and the Generation Problem: Rural Youth, Employment and the Future of Farming
Ben White

Perceptions and Aspirations: A Case Study of Young People in Ghana's Cocoa Sector
Nana Akua Anyidoho, Jennifer Leavy and Kwadwo Asenso-Okyere

'A Last Resort and Often Not an Option at All': Farming and Young People in Ethiopia
Getnet Tadele and Asrat Ayalew Gella

Quick Money and Power: Tomatoes and Livelihood Building in Rural Brong Ahafo, Ghana
Christine Okali and James Sumberg

Youth Farming and Nigeria's Development Dilemma: The Shonga Experiment
Joseph Ayodele Ariyo and Michael Mortimore

Youth, Agriculture and Land Grabs in Malawi
Blessings Chinsinga and Michael Chasukwa

Land Policies and Labour Markets in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Law and Economics Analysis
Luis Tomás Montilla Fernández

Young People in African (Agricultural) Policy Processes? What National Youth Policies Can Tell Us
Dolf J.H. te Lintelo

Default Water Alternatives: Water grabbing? Focus on the (re)appropriation of finite water resources Popular

By 764 downloads

Water Alternatives
Volume 5, Issue 2

Water Alternatives is a free-access journal.

Recent large-scale land acquisitions for agricultural production (including biofuels), popularly known as 'land grabbing', have attracted headline attention. Water as both a target and driver of this phenomenon has been largely ignored despite the interconnectedness of water and land. This special issue aims to fill this gap and to widen and deepen the lens beyond the confines of the literature’s still limited focus on agriculture-driven resource grabbing.

WaterissueThe articles in this collection demonstrate that the fluid nature of water and its hydrologic complexity often obscure how water grabbing takes place and what the associated impacts on the environment and diverse social groups are. The fluid properties of water interact with the 'slippery' nature of the grabbing processes: unequal power relations; fuzziness between legality and illegality and formal and informal rights; unclear administrative boundaries and jurisdictions, and fragmented negotiation processes. All these factors combined with the powerful material, discursive and symbolic characteristics of water make 'water grabbing' a site for conflict with potential drastic impacts on the current and future uses and benefits of water, rights as well as changes in tenure relations.

Default Journal of Peasant Studies: The New Enclosures: Critical Perspectives on Corporate Land Deals Popular

By 961 downloads

Journal of Peasant Studies
Issue 39, Vol 3-4

This collection explores the complex dynamics of corporate land deals in a broad agrarian political economy perspective, with a special focus on the implications for property and labour regimes, labour processes and structures of accumulation. Among other things this can involve looking at ways in which existing patterns of rural social differentiation – in terms of class and gender, perhaps also ethnicity and generation – are being shaped by changes in land use and property relations, as well as by the re-organization of production and exchange as rural communities and resources are incorporated in global commodity chains.

jpsenclosuresIt goes further than the descriptive ‘what?’ and ‘who?’ questions, in order to understand the ‘how’ and ‘why’ of these patterns. It is empirically solid and theoretically sophisticated, making it a robust and knowledge boundary-changing work. Contributors come from various scholarly disciplines. Covering nearly all regions of the world, the collection will be of interest to scholars from various disciplines, policymakers and activists.

The collection builds on two years of collaboration through the Land Deal Politics Initiative, of which Future Agricultures Consortium is a member.

Register for free access to selected articles: http://www.tandfonline.com/r/fjps3934

Default Journal of Peasant Studies: Green grabbing - a new appropriation of nature? Popular

By 948 downloads

Journal of Peasant Studies
Volume 39, Issue 2, 2012

This Journal of Peasant Studies issue draws new theorisation together with 17 cases from African, Asian and Latin American settings, and links critical studies of nature with critical agrarian studies, to ask:

  • To what extent and in what ways do 'green grabs' constitute new forms of appropriation of nature?
  • How and when do circulations of green capital become manifest in actual appropriations on the ground – through what political and discursive dynamics?
  • What are the implications for ecologies, landscapes and livelihoods?
  • And who is gaining and who is losing – how are agrarian social relations, rights and authority being restructured, and in whose interests?

JPSgreenFree articles:


Default IDS Bulletin: The Politics of Seed in Africa's Green Revolution Popular

By 871 downloads

IDS Bulletin
Vol 42 No. 4, 2011

This IDS Bulletin takes one element of a bigger debate - the future of cereal seed systems in Africa - and examines some of the challenges, dilemmas, prospects and possibilities for the future, deploying an explicitly critical analytical lens to look at the political economy of seed systems in Africa's Green Revolution. It asks: ‘What interests frame the dominant narratives driving this policy agenda? What alternatives are excluded as a consequence? Who gains and who loses? And what processes of agrarian change are promoted as a result?'

IDSseedAs calls for a ‘Uniquely African Green Revolution' gain momentum, a focus on seeds and seed systems is rising up the agricultural policy agenda. Much of the debate stresses the technological or market dimensions, with substantial investments being made in seed improvement and the development of both public and private sector delivery systems. But this misses out the political economy of policy processes behind this agenda: whose interests are being served? This IDS Bulletin, with its central emphasis on cereal seed systems, focuses on the under-addressed political-economic dimensions that have hindered the emergence and spread of lasting improvements in agricultural productivity. It examines how the new Green Revolution in Africa is unfolding in Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi and Zimbabwe, highlighting both the diversity of experiences and the common challenges and pitfalls. Moving beyond the generic hype of much policy discussion, the articles in this collection draw out historical lessons, as well as contemporary experiences from the field.

The issue builds on a collaborative research project carried out during 2009-11 under the auspices of the Future Agricultures Consortium.

Download a free article:

The Politics of Seed in Africa’s Green Revolution: Alternative Narratives and Competing Pathways by Ian Scoones and John Thompson

Default IDS Bulletin: Political Economy of Climate Change Popular

By 918 downloads

IDS Bulletin
Vol. 42 No. 3, 2011

Despite the inherently political nature of international negotiations on climate change, much of the theory, debate, evidence-gathering and implementation linking climate change and development assume a largely apolitical and linear policy process. As the issue continues to dominate agendas, it is timely to propose a new political economy of climate change and development in which explicit attention is given to the way that ideas, power and resources are conceptualised, negotiated and implemented by different groups at different scales.

IDSclimateWe argue that in balancing effectiveness, efficiency and equity, climate change initiatives must explicitly recognise the political economy of their inputs, processes and outcomes. Political economy is defined here as the processes by which ideas, power and resources are conceptualised, negotiated and implemented by different groups at different scales. In applying this definition to climate change and development, we broaden the analysis from state-focused environmental politics to encompass interactions between the state, non-state actors. The growing importance of climate change in the development arena and the frequent assumption of linear policymaking and apolitical, techno-managerial solutions make the development of a new political economy emphasis vital to determining efficient, equitable and effective responses.

Contributors associated with Future Agricultures include Blessings Chinsinga, Andrew Newsham, Lars Otto Naess and Alex Shankland.

Default Journal of Peasant Studies: The Politics of Biofuels, Land and Agrarian Change Popular

By 1103 downloads

Journal of Peasant Studies
Vol 37, Issue 4, 2010

The Journal of Peasant Studies special issue addresses key questions on biofuels within agrarian political economy, political sociology and political ecology. Contributions are based on fresh empirical materials from different parts of the world. The collection’s starting point has been four key questions in agrarian political economy: Who owns what? Who does what? Who gets what? And what do they do with the surplus wealth? It also addresses the emergent social and political relations in the biofuel complex, asking, ‘How do people interact with each other’? And, given the impacts on natural resources and sustainability, it also engages with questions about people-environment interactions, asking for example, ‘How do changes in politics get shaped by dynamic ecologies, and vice versa’?

JPSbiofuelsAt the same time, the collection is concerned with the politics of representation, that is, what are the discursive frames through which biofuels are promoted and/or opposed? And what are the institutional structures, and cultures of energy consumption on which a biofuels complex depends, and what alternative political and ecological visions are emerging to call the biofuels complex into question? Across 16 articles presenting material from five regions across the North-South divide and focusing on 14 countries including Brazil, Indonesia, India, USA and Germany, these questions are addressed within the following themes: global (re)configurations; agro-ecological visions; conflicts, resistances and diverse outcomes; state, capital and society relations; mobilising opposition, creating alternatives; and change and continuity.

Default IDS Bulletin: New Directions for African Agriculture Popular

By 1102 downloads

IDS Bulletin
Vol. 36 No. 2, 2005

Edited by Ian Scoones, Aaron deGrassi, Stephen Devereux and Lawrence Haddad

Both this year’s UN Millennium Report and The Commission for Africa Report highlight the lack of progress in achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in sub-Saharan Africa. What role should agriculture have in this challenge? Most of Africa’s poor are rural, and most rely largely on agriculture for their livelihoods. Inevitably, “getting agriculture moving” must be part of the solution to the seemingly intractable problem of African poverty. While the standard storyline about African agriculture is not positive, there have been some notable achievements in the past decade. Are these successes exceptional and limited to particular settings and times, or are they replicable across wider areas, benefiting larger numbers of people?

IDSdirectionsThis IDS Bulletin draws together contributions from a diverse range of researchers and development practitioners working in Africa, with the common goal of exploring why agriculture is contributing to poverty reduction and livelihood improvement in some places. This debate comes at a critical time when there is renewed interest in agriculture in Africa and a real commitment to revitalise the sector. How to translate words into reality? How to avoid the recycling of old ideas, and generate new thinking – rooted in African contexts and ground realities – which makes a difference? Central to all solutions are social, cultural and political factors: rather than an expert-driven, technocratic approach, a more politically-sophisticated stance is required with a new emphasis on understanding and influencing processes of innovation, intervention and policy. The aim of this IDS Bulletin is to contribute to this journey.

Default IDS Bulletin: Livelihoods in Crisis? Popular

By 965 downloads

Livelihoods in Crisis? New Perspectives on Governance and Rural Development in Southern Africa
IDS Bulletin
Vol 34 No 3, 2003

Southern Africa is in the midst of a major food crisis. Fourteen million people are reported to be at risk. Most commentators agree that since around 1990, livelihoods have collapsed in many areas, with an increasing number of people, particularly in rural areas, vulnerable. But this is 2003, following decades of post-independence development assistance and once-great hopes for the region as both the food basket and economic motor for the continent. What has gone wrong? Has “development” failed? Do we need to radically rethink the paradigms for development in the region? By focusing on Mozambique, South Africa and Zimbabwe, a complex story of livelihood change emerges.
IDSlogoLinks to selected articles to download: