Panel 15: POLITICS – Local Elites

The notion of a „global? land grab has drawn attention to the transnational character of large-scale land acquisitions, yet empirical research is suggested a central role played by domestic elites – at local, provincial and national levels – as investors, brokers, partners in such deals. This panel explores the roles of established elites as well as the „nouveau riche? in several developing countries

in the context of rising demand for land for food, fuel and other purposes, and the ways in which the interpenetration of business and political elites – and private capital and parastatal companies – facilitates new forms of accumulation. It also considers the relationship between „traditional? and „modern? elites, and draws attention to elites within rather than apart from, local „communities?, suggesting that the „land grab? should be considered at least in part a „bottom-up? rather than „top-down? process. Cases explore these dynamics in the contexts of Papua New Guinea, Cameroon and Mozambique.

Chair: Sandra Evers, VU Amsterdam

Philip Woodhouse