Research indicates that key parameters of “land grabbing” differ across regions (e.g., ILC 2012) – particularly in view of who invests and/or when the bulk of investments occurred. At the same time, my review of the “land grab” literature since 2008 reveals that hardly any comparative assessments of “land grabbing” from a home country perspective exist that study whether and/or in which way and why “land grabs” of a single investor country differ across regions. This paper assesses and compares the main empirical characteristics of Chinese land acquisitions in Southeast Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa since 2000 from a home country perspective. It addresses two questions: Firstly, the paper comparatively assesses the main empirical characteristics of how these investments occur, regarding the sectoral composition, actor constellations, timelines, and the role of land in both regions. On this basis, secondly, it studies whether and in which way China applies different rationales and strategies in these two regions, comparing significant ideologies, foreign policies, political economies, and institutions that have been identified during the assessment to play a role in how and why they take these “land grabs” occur. The data collection and assessment will be done by way of systematic process tracing and a comparative research design focusing on the two target regions from a home country perspective. This approach allows me to identify similarities and differences between Chinese regional “grabs”; as well as deliberate on the geopolitical dimension of Chinese land-consuming outward FDI more broadly.
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The Rise of the BRICS
The International Institute of Social Studies (ISS) in The Hague is part of the Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR).
It is a graduate institute of policy-oriented critical social science, founded in 1952 and able to draw on sixty years of experience.
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The Land Deal Politics Initiative (LDPI) is a network of the research programme of Political Economy of Resources, Environment and Population (PER) of the International Institute of Social Studies in The Hague, Part of Erasmus University Rotterdam.
The aim of LDPI is for a broad framework encompassing the political economy, political ecology and political sociology of land deals.
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The Transnational Institute (TNI) is an international research and advocacy institute committed to building a just, democratic and sustainable world.
Founded in 1974 as a network of ‘activist scholars’, TNI continues to be a unique nexus between social movements, engaged scholars and policy makers.
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