Legitimizing Accumulation by Dispossession: The State/Capital Nexus in Land-Related Investment Agreements
50 Pages Posted: 10 Jul 2013 Last revised: 24 Jul 2013
Date Written: July 4, 2013
The notion of "global land grab" has rapidly become a global catch-phrase. As such, the phenomenon is subject to a multitude of interpretations, and at the same time has not been properly unpacked in its being supported and determined by legal means. In the attempt to contribute to a better legal and economic understanding of the global land rush, the present paper underlines the importance to broadly interpret land-grabbing as a contemporary form of massive private accumulation by dispossession of common goods, a mechanism of occupation and transformation of the territory conducted thanks to the essential role of public authority. Moreover, the Author looks at existing investment agreements, and demonstrate that the grabbings are not the consequence of failures or misconducts, but rather the expression of a "right to appropriate" which is clearly stated in the private-public deal. Law and sovereignty are, therefore, crucial allies of the expansion of an exclusionary model of development, but could also become strong forms of resistance.
Keywords: investment law, bilateral investment treaties, international investments, global land grabbing, land, land rush, BIT, human rights, investment arbitration, accumulation by dispossession, state and land grabbing
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