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Interpreting Global Land and Water Grabbing through Two Rival Economic Paradigms

Guglielmo Chiodi

Academicus International Scientific Journal, 2018, issue 18, 42-52

Abstract: The paper tries to address attention to the recent phenomenon of large-scale land acquisitions (LSLAs) made by foreign investors in low-income agriculture-based countries. Since 2008, the phenomenon of LSLAs has increased at a very high speed and at a growing scale, although it has assumed different connotations, compared with previous LSLAs, with particular reference to the space concerned (the phenomenon has a global dimension), to the motivations behind it, to the way in which the acquisitions have been made, not to mention the impacts produced on local populations and the environment. The aim of the paper is that of contributing to examine, from the economic theory historic-analytical perspective, some aspects of contemporary LSLAs, global land and water grabbing in particular, which seem passed generally unnoticed. The main thesis will be that the dominant economic theory (neoclassical economics) appears indeed as an invisible though crucial driver of that phenomenon, in so far as it profoundly shapes the ‘vision’ which supposedly lies at the very background of most of the subjects and of the policy makers and institutions involved. It is suggested that an alternative ‘vision’ should be used instead – the contemporary classical economic theory rivaled by Sraffa in the 1960s.

Keywords: global land and water grabbing; classical political economy; neoclassical economic theory; contemporary classical economic theory (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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Handle: RePEc:etc:journl:y:2018:i:18:p:42-52