Hierarchies of Rights: Land and Investments in Africa


Start date: 1 January, 2015 End date: 30 April, 2022 Project type: Research projects in countries with extended development cooperation (earlier Window 1) Project code: 14-05RUC Countries: Mozambique Tanzania Thematic areas: Natural resource management, State building, governance and civil society, Lead institution: Roskilde University (RUC), Denmark Partner institutions: Danish Institute for International Studies (DIIS), Denmark Eduardo Mondlane University (EMU), Mozambique University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM), Tanzania Project website: go to website (the site might be inactive) Project coordinator: Lars Buur Total grant: 9,969,902 DKK Project files:

Project summary

The main aim of the research program is to analyse how struggles related to large-scale investments into natural resources affect small-holders’ rights to land in Sub-Saharan Africa.
It tests the overall working hypothesis that in developing democratic market economies hierarchies of rights are established over time that structure how struggles related to largescale investments are played out. It analyses struggles over rights through two variables: the type of investment (high/low-value resources) and the distribution of power in society (elite cohesion/ fragmentation). Based on a set of primarily qualitative comparative case study methodologies, the program studies how investments into oil/gas, mining and agriculture in Tanzania and Mozambique affect small-holders’ rights to land. Both countries have experienced a dramatic surge in large-scale investments and, subsequently, political tensions and unrest. Despite similarities between the two countries struggles over land rights produce different outcomes for small-holders. The program will include three southbased PhD students and scholars from different academic traditions. This combination will facilitate transfer of skills and knowledge across the participating country teams. The program will provide research, capacity-building, and policy-advice that contribute to strengthening interventions addressing key challenges related to social inclusion, inclusive growth, and political stability in the region.

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