1. Leibniz-Zentrum Moderner Orient
  2. Veranstaltungen
  3. “Land to the Tiller?” Hopes and Ruins of Agrarian Reform in Africa, Asia and the Middle East

“Land to the Tiller?” Hopes and Ruins of Agrarian Reform in Africa, Asia and the Middle East

Konferenz, organisiert von Katharina Lange (ZMO) und Katrin Bromber (ZMO)

Projects of agrarian reform often produce contradictory, if not incongruent results. The desire for establishing social justice may clash with efforts to increase the productivity of agricultural land; and while fundamentally conceived as an antidote to inequality and exploitation, concrete reform endeavors may be associated with the dispossession and displacement of local communities. Thus, in spite of the promises and hopes associated with agrarian reform, many such schemes have left discontent and disorder in their wake.

To explore these tensions and question their conceptual significance, this conference revisits practices and models of agrarian reform that have been promoted across the Middle East, Africa and Asia in the 20th and 21st century. Contributions address historical as well as contemporary cases, ranging from radical schemes to give land exclusively to “the tiller“ to other practices and measures such as the establishment of cooperatives, educational and organizational transformations targeting rural populations. While different cases of agrarian reform share ideas and slogans across geographical, linguistic and historical settings, each instantiation is embedded in their respective, particular historical and regional context. Through a comparative topology of these case studies, we seek to open up new avenues of questioning the local particularities as well as the translocal or global connections between different instantiations of agrarian reform.

Due to the current situation in relation to the Covid19-pandemic, the conference will take place as an exclusively virtual event. If you are interested to attend, please register at registration@zmo.de in advance.