The Political Ecology of Land Grabs in Ethiopia

  • Fouad MakkiEmail author
Part of the Ecology and Ethics book series (ECET, volume 3)


The intersection of the 2008 financial crisis with ongoing food and energy crises unleashed a tidal wave of large-scale land acquisitions. By enclosing the village commons and evicting farmers from their land, the land grabs are accelerating global trends toward the consolidation of chemical-intensive industrial farming that facilitates biocultural homogenization. This article examines this dynamic in relation to contemporary Ethiopia and a specific context of state formation. By critically analyzing the designation of common lands as empty or underutilized spaces awaiting redemptive development, it highlights the ways in which the deployment of terra nullius narratives serves to efface the distinctive ecologies and socio-spatial dynamics of the zones designated for enclosures.


Land grabs Agricultural commercialization Enclosures Displacement and dispossession 



The author thanks Irene Klaver.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Development SociologyCornell UniversityIthacaUSA

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