P122
Unspectacular politics of land: actors, sites, struggles
Convenors:
Lucy Koechlin (University of Basel)
Katharina Heitz Tokpa (Universität Basel)
Chair:
Lucy Koechlin/Kathrin Heitz
Discussant:
Till Förster
Location:
C5.08
Start time:
28 June, 2013 at 16:00
Session slots:
1

Short abstract:

The panel seeks to identify and analyse actors, sites as well as struggles around land, with a view of contributing to a more bottom-up understanding of land-related conflicts and conflict mediation.

Long abstract:

Whilst land has always constituted a central resource of social organisation, different forms of commercial and demographic pressure on land have introduced a new scale in disputes about tenure, access and ownership. However, where weak state institutions lack regulative authority to mediate such conflicts, diverse social actors engage in processes of articulation, mediation and contestation. This holds especially true in "unspectacular" conflicts far from the media's eye, where innovative and unexpected actors as well as responses can be observed, which do not necessarily fit any conventional mould of conflict-transformation. This panel seeks to bring case studies of such processes together. In particular, the panel seeks to identify and analyse actors, sites as well as the struggles around land, with a view of contributing to a more bottom-up understanding of land-related conflicts and conflict mediation. We are particularly interested in contributions discussing "unspectacular" (i.e. underexplored and underexposed) processes of political transformations that are articulated around land-related conflicts. Specifically, we invite empirically grounded case studies addressing following questions: What are the sites and dynamics of such "unspectacular" struggles around (urban, peri-urban or rural) land? Which social actors engage in such struggles, and what are their claims, actions and responses? What innovative forms of articulation and mediation emerge from the case studies? What insights can be gleaned from local-led forms of dispute settlement?