Next Article in Journal
Land Use Changes in Iberian Peninsula 1990–2012
Previous Article in Journal
Firewood Collection in South Africa: Adaptive Behavior in Social-Ecological Models
Article Menu
Issue 3 (September) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessArticle

Land Grabbing in Europe? Socio-Cultural Externalities of Large-Scale Land Acquisitions in East Germany

Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Food Policy, Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg, 06099 Halle, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 20 June 2018 / Revised: 8 August 2018 / Accepted: 10 August 2018 / Published: 20 August 2018
Full-Text   |   PDF [1585 KB, uploaded 23 August 2018]   |  

Abstract

Recently, we witnessed an immense increase in international land transactions in the Global South, a phenomenon slowly expanding in northern industrialized countries, too. Even though in Europe agriculture plays a decreasing economic role for rural livelihoods, the increases in land transactions by non-local, non-agricultural investors pervades rural life. Nevertheless, the underlying processes are not yet well understood. Large-scale land acquisitions describe such purchases and leases in a neutral way, while ‘land grabbing’ expresses negative consequences for rural people. We investigate whether and under which conditions the term land grabbing is justified for the phenomenon observed in Europe. We propose six socio-cultural criteria that scholars should consider to come to an initial classification: legal irregularities, non-residence of new owners, centralization in decision-making structures, treating land as an investment object, concentration of decision-power, and limited access to land markets. We supplement our findings with empirical material from East Germany, where such land acquisition processes occur. Our paper contributes to the ongoing discussion about agricultural structural change in Europe, which is intensified by increasing land prices and a new distribution of landownership but likewise strongly intertwined with rural development. View Full-Text
Keywords: land grabbing; East Germany; socio-cultural externalities; rural development land grabbing; East Germany; socio-cultural externalities; rural development
Figures

Figure 1

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
SciFeed

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Bunkus, R.; Theesfeld, I. Land Grabbing in Europe? Socio-Cultural Externalities of Large-Scale Land Acquisitions in East Germany. Land 2018, 7, 98.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics

1

Comments

[Return to top]
Land EISSN 2073-445X Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top