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Us and them. Is the COVID-19 pandemic a driver for xenophobia in land transactions in Romania?

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  • Petrescu-Mag, Ruxandra Malina
  • Petrescu, Dacinia Crina
  • Todoran, Silviu Ciprian
  • Petrescu-Mag, Ioan Valentin

Abstract

COVID-19 is a humanitarian challenge that puts a spotlight on the need to understand the new provocations and how to prevent the escalation of different types of conflict. The present contribution gravitates around three major problems – foreign land grab, COVID-19 pandemic, and xenophobia. To the authors’ best knowledge, this is the first study that investigates how COVID-19 has influenced the xenophobia feelings and the perceptions on foreign land acquisitions. Therefore, one objective is to investigate Romanian landowners’ attitudes toward land grabbing effects, consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, and xenophobia. Another objective is to reveal how well a set of variables could predict the preference for the nationality of the buyer in land transactions. The binary logistic regression indicates that the preference for the nationality of the buyer in agricultural land transactions can be predicted by three variables. The effect of COVID-19 on population health is found to have a significant prediction power. Even if only a moderate to low level of xenophobia among the interviewed persons is present, when land is under discussion, negative judgments and feelings towards non-Romanian citizens emerge. Authors consider that correcting misperceptions can be achieved through information campaigns using messages that reinforce positives outcomes of foreign investments. The study provides empirical justification for regulations, law enforcement mechanisms, and information campaigns that should profoundly reflect and support the multicultural dynamics of the European societies.

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  • Petrescu-Mag, Ruxandra Malina & Petrescu, Dacinia Crina & Todoran, Silviu Ciprian & Petrescu-Mag, Ioan Valentin, 2021. "Us and them. Is the COVID-19 pandemic a driver for xenophobia in land transactions in Romania?," Land Use Policy, Elsevier, vol. 103(C).
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:lauspo:v:103:y:2021:i:c:s0264837721000089
    DOI: 10.1016/j.landusepol.2021.105284
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    References listed on IDEAS

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