Legitimizing Accumulation by Dispossession: The State/Capital Nexus in Land-Related Investment Agreements

50 Pages Posted: 10 Jul 2013 Last revised: 24 Jul 2013

See all articles by Tomaso Ferrando

Tomaso Ferrando

University of Antwerp Law and Development Research Group and Institute of Policy Development

Date Written: July 4, 2013

Abstract

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

Suggested Citation

Ferrando, Tomaso, Legitimizing Accumulation by Dispossession: The State/Capital Nexus in Land-Related Investment Agreements (July 4, 2013). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2290022 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2290022

Tomaso Ferrando (Contact Author)

University of Antwerp Law and Development Research Group and Institute of Policy Development ( email )

Venusstraat 23
Antwerp, 2000
Belgium

HOME PAGE: http://https://www.uantwerpen.be/en/staff/tomaso-ferrando/

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