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Grabbing the 'clean slate' : The politics of the intersection of land grabbing, disasters and climate change


  • Uson, M.


Land grabs in the wake of a disaster are nothing new. However this phenomenon gains certain particularities and interest when it happens within the current context of climate change policy initiatives and the global land rush. This nexus produces a new set of political processes containing new actors and alliances, legitimizations, and mechanisms of dispossession that set off a different pace for land grabs. This study explores this nexus which has the potential to swiftly reboot spatial, institutional and political land arrangements in poor communities on a large scale, globally. The gap in the scholarly literature found in the disaster – global land rush – climate change nexus was examined from the perspective of a local community devastated by the 2013 super typhoon Haiyan in central Philippines. Using a political economy lens, the study revealed that along with the dynamics of the structural and institutional environment, the interaction between the pro-reform social and state actors determines the nature, pace, extent and trajectory of the land struggle. The ‘state-society interactive’ approach highlights the political agency of both the state and social actors, particularly how they exercise their autonomy and capacity, and maximize channels within and external to the state to advance their claim. How the interplay of different institutions of climate change mitigation, land grabs and disasters interacts with the political processes of current land grabs is the focus of this study.

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  • Uson, M., 2015. "Grabbing the 'clean slate' : The politics of the intersection of land grabbing, disasters and climate change," ISS Working Papers - General Series 603, International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University Rotterdam (ISS), The Hague.
  • Handle: RePEc:ems:euriss:77539

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Harvey, David, 2005. "The New Imperialism," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199278084.
    2. Borras, S.M., 1998. "Bibingka strategy to land reform and implementation : autonomous peasant mobilizations and state reformists in the Philippines," ISS Working Papers - General Series 19017, International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University Rotterdam (ISS), The Hague.
    3. Klaus Deininger & Clarissa Augustinus & Stig Enemark & Paul Munro-Faure, 2010. "Innovations in Land Rights Recognition, Administration, and Governance," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 2519, December.
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    land grabs; climate change; disasters; Philippines; small islands;
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