Alberto Alonso-Fradejas

He is a PhD Candidate at the International Institute of Social Studies, a member of the political community of the Transnational Institute (TNI) in Amsterdam and a visiting professor at San Carlos University in Guatemala (Schools of History, Sociology and Political Sciences). He has (co-)authored a series of articles, monographs and policy reports about the political economy and sociology of agrarian change and territorial restructuring in Guatemala and Central America since the early 2000s, as Head of the Land and Territory Research area of the Guatemalan Institute of Agrarian and Rural Studies.

Research on Land-grabbing:

Disputed Meanings and Practices of Territorial Appropriation in Guatemala´s Reinforced Export-Oriented Plantation Model

My project revolves around my three years of field research about the political economy, ecology and sociology of the territorial re-structuring processes associated with the expansion of oil palm and sugarcane plantations under the new flexible regime of agrarian capitalism in Guatemala, in the context of the converging global financial, energy, food and environmental crises. I intend to problematize my research outcomes within a broader literature review as well as to further analyse the collected empirical evidence and the different stakeholder’s discourses and institutional frameworks embedded within the following dynamics: How the political economy, ecology and sociology of the flexible regime of agrarian capitalism relates to the capacities to gain, control and maintain access to the land and the natural goods of indigenous-peasant families and communities throughout territories with expanding oil palm and sugarcane plantations. The elements fostering the (possible) diverse expressions of (social) agency and collective action of different groups of the former indigenous-peasant population at different levels, ranging from the household to the (inter)national arenas.