A Bazooka does not Cure People

A Bazooka does not Cure People

Commentary by Janpeter Schilling (University of Koblenz-Landau): Why war rhetoric in the time of the coronavirus pandemic is not only wrong, but dangerous

A “bazooka” is what the German Federal Minister of Finance, Olaf Scholz, recently called an aid package to mitigate the effects of the coronavirus. In the same press conference he later mentioned “small arms”, which would also be ready to fight the virus. For the otherwise rather unemotional Scholz, this is an unusual choice of words. Early on in the corona crisis, French President Emmanuel Macron stated “We are at war“. Donald Trump, the self-appointed US “Wartime President” even speaks of “our big war“. Why are important politicians using such a martial vocabulary in their responses to the corona pandemic? And is this okay?

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Seeing plantations as complex and contested spaces

Seeing plantations as complex and contested spaces

by Anne Hennings, PhD, University of Muenster

Much has been written on the global land rush, its implications for affected communities and the environment, as well as its conflict potential. However, I argue that assemblage thinking provides a particularly insightful analytical lens to zoom into exclusion mechanisms at play in plantations and respective efforts of contestation. Even in spaces of tight surveillance, increasing intra-community cleavages, and the breakdown of social institutions, I show how the emergence of unusual alliances and solidarity may challenge the status quo.

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Extractive Policing, Racialized Displacement, and the Territorial Dynamics of Modernity

Extractive Policing, Racialized Displacement,  and the Territorial Dynamics of Modernity

by Michael S. Wilson-Becerril, Colgate University | @mwilsonbecerril

Each year, hundreds of people around the Global South die resisting and contesting resource extraction. While reports attending to this matter are growing, the phenomenon itself is not particularly new. Indeed, violent extractivism is central to the project of Western modernity.

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Framing “land grabbing”: How the hype has been constructed

Framing “land grabbing”: How the hype has been constructed

by Jan Sändig, SFB 923, University of Tübingen

Land grabbing has been widely discussed in recent years. It seems quite evident why: Corporate investment in farmland has increased significantly and severely impacted many local communities. But this is only one reason why land grabbing has become a prominent topic. As I discuss in this article, it has also been “successfully” made visible by activists.

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Water Shortages at Water Rich Bodies – Observing the Water-Conflict Nexus at Lake Naivasha

Water Shortages at Water Rich Bodies – Observing the Water-Conflict Nexus at Lake Naivasha

by Julia Renner, University of Koblenz-Landau

“The water levels are currently enormous, but local people lack adequate provision of water!” This observation struck me during my field research around Lake Naivasha in Kenya. Therefore, enlarging the research puzzle on the water-conflict nexus, I investigate how water shortages at water abundant areas impact low-key conflicts in Kenya.

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A local to global framework on resource governance and conflict

A local to global framework on resource governance and conflict

by Janpeter Schilling1, Christina Saulich2 & Nina Engwicht3

How do global schemes of resource certification and global demand for valuable resources like diamonds and land influence local conflicts? How do local resource and conflict dynamics influence global processes related to resource demand and certification? To address these questions, we have edited a special issue in the journal Conflict, Security and Development that introduces a local to global framework to examine resource governance and conflicts across scales.

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New Pieces to the Puzzle: The Food-Water-Energy-Mining Nexus in Environmental Conflicts

New Pieces to the Puzzle: The Food-Water-Energy-Mining Nexus in Environmental Conflicts

by Sören Köpke, University of Braunschweig – Institute of Technology

The conflict dimensions of large-scale land acquisitions and water management issues have gained a lot of scholarly attention over the last decade. A small, but growing research community is investigating the social consequences of extractive industries. There is a need for integrative approaches bringing these topics together – inquiries into the food-water-energy-mining nexus. Read more

Land Grabs as ‘Shrinking Spaces’ for Civil Society?

Land Grabs as ‘Shrinking Spaces’ for Civil Society?

by Louisa Prause, Freie Universität Berlin

The term ‘shrinking spaces’ describes state actions that aim to restrict civil societies’ activities. In this article I investigate in how far spaces for civil society action are also influenced by changes in land control by looking at two cases of large-scale land transformations in Senegal. Read more