LDPI Research Network

ldpi-logoLDPI promotes ‘engaged research’ on the recent explosion of (trans) national commercial and corporation-driven land transactions.

LDPI research focus

The focus of the research is the politics of land deals based on detailed field-based research and policy-oriented donor and NGO-led reviews, priamarily in these regions:

  • Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Southeast Asia
  • Latin America

Globally, powerful transnational actors are tapping into lands outside their own borders to provide sufficient food and energy security at home.

The original North-South dynamic to this ‘global land grab’ is developing into a North-South-South dynamic with economically powerful non-Northern countries now getting involved.

This phrase – ‘global land grab’ – has become a catch-all to describe and analyse this explosion in transnational commercial land transactions. The reaction to this trend by state, corporate and civil society groups has been varied, moving between the extremes of seeing it as a major threat to the lives and livelihoods of rural people, to seeing it as an economic opportunity for the rural poor worldwide.

LDPI aims to provide in-depth and systematic enquiry into the global land grab in order to have deeper, meaningful and productive debates around causes and implications.

Academic institutions involved in LDPI


Institute for Development Studies (IDS) at the University of Sussex, particularly the Future Agricultures Consortium (Ian Scoones).

Initiatives in Critical Agrarian Studies (ICAS) at the International Institute of Social Studies (Saturnino ‘Jun’ Borras).

International Institute of Social Studies (ISS), particularly the Resource, Environment and Livelihoods research cluster (Ben White).

Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies (PLAAS) at the University fo the Western Cape of South Africa (Ruth Hall).

The Polson Institute for Glabal Development at the Department of Development at Cornell University (Wendy Wolford).