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How and why does research on land matter in times of major social, economic and political changes? This panel aims to 'unsettle' academic debates and extensive research on land-related issues by reflecting on, rethinking, and reimagining new agendas for land-related research, policy, and practice.
How and why does research on land governance and tenure matter in these times of major social change? For decades, researchers have demonstrated how land is central to issues of development, including agrarian change, constitutional and economic reform, politics, social justice, post-conflict reconstruction, adaptation to climate change, and, more recently, landscape restoration, land-based investments and the question of decolonizing development. This panel aims to 'unsettle' this extensive body of research by reflecting on, rethinking, and reimagining new agendas for land-related research, policy, and practice. We intentionally frame this objective broadly, to explicitly acknowledge the fundamentally cross-cutting nature of land vis-à-vis development.
We welcome papers across all disciplines and geographical areas which speak to this theme of 'unsettling' land debates. Papers may focus on key historical or political dimensions of land questions, grounded within pertinent literatures and debates. Particular emphasis will be given to papers engaging with the changing and evolving nature of political, institutional and legal contexts of land governance, and the emergence of new actors. We also welcome papers engaging with the land policy and practice space, particularly given the role of official development assistance spending in current research funding. We further encourage papers considering topics, novel data sources and methodological approaches so far largely unexplored in research on land. For instance, how does climate action impact on tenure rights and land policies in different countries? How might accelerating environmental change, biodiversity loss, and a global pandemic redefine tenure security in the longer-term, in both urban and rural contexts?