Commodity & land rushes and regimes

Reshaping the politics of food, climate, labour and citizenship

  • How do contemporary global commodity rushes (‘land grabs’) reshape the politics of food, climate, labour, citizenship and geopolitics in different contexts?
  • What are the implications of such new regimes, in terms of structural, institutional and political shifts?
Citizen actions and peoples' struggles
Tempera on paper by Filipino activist painter Federico (“Boy”) Dominguez

‘Commodity & land rushes and regimes: Reshaping five spheres of global social life’ (RRUSHES-5) sets out to answer these questions. It focuses on three countries which have been global hotspots of commodity and land rushes: Ethiopia, Myanmar and Colombia.

Guided by a multi-disciplinary theoretical framework and grounded in empirical work, the project will engage in practical policy questions aimed at probing the potential for socially just and ecologically sustainable reforms.

This €2.5 million project – funded through the prestigious European Research Council (ERC) Advanced Grant – is led by Professor Jun Borras. The team furthermore comprises Dr Tsegaye Moreda as well as 5 PhD candidates and a postdoctoral researcher.

Tempera on paper by Filipino activist painter Federico (“Boy”) Dominguez

Why is this research relevant?

Recent global commodity rushes have profoundly influenced societies across the globe. At least a quarter of a billion hectares of land have been affected, reshaping livelihoods and social and political relations. Contemporary commodity rushes are more complex and far-reaching than those we have seen before, requiring new thinking and practice in order to respond to such unprecedented challenges.

This project will change the way we study the recent commodity and land rushes, demonstrating why and how they concern not only the 3.5 billion people who live in rural areas, but the entire world population.

Outputs

Reports

Myanmar’s cross-border migrant workers and the Covid-19 pandemic: Their life stories and the social structures shaping them - Report
Toward a just transition to a democratic new normal in Myanmar: Cross-border migrant workers and the Covid-19 pandemic (English)- Report
Toward a just transition to a democratic new normal in Myanmar: Cross-border migrant workers and the Covid-19 pandemic (Burmese) - Report

Journal articles

Borras, S.M., J.C. Franco, Z. Nam (2020) 'Climate change and land: Insights from Myanmar' in World Development, Vol. 129 May 2020
Doi Ra, Khu Khu Ju (2021) ‘Nothing about us, without us’: reflections on the challenges of building Land in Our Hands, a national land network in Myanmar/Burma' in Journal of Peasant Studies, Special Forum: Politics of Myanmar's Agrarian Transformation

Research team and collaborations

The project collaborates with academic institutions and civil society.

Funding

  • EU-ERC logo combined 16:9

    This project has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement No 834006).

Contact the research team

Email address
borras@iss.nl

If you would like more information about this research project, please contact Professor Jun Borras