Land is one of the world's most emotionally resonant resources, and control over it is fundamental to almost all human activity. From the local level to the global, we are often in conflict over the ground beneath our feet. But because human relationships to land are so complex, it can be difficult to think them through in a unified way. This path-breaking book aims to change that by combining insights from multiple disciplines to develop a framework for understanding the geopolitics of land today.
Struggles over land, argues Derek Hall, relate to three basic principles: its role as territory, its status as property, and the ways in which its use is regulated. This timely introduction explores key dimensions of these themes, including inter-state wars over territory, the efforts of non-governmental organizations to protect property rights and environments in the global South, and the ‘land grabs’ attempted by contemporary corporations and governments. Drawing on a wide range of cases and examples - from the Afghanistan-Pakistan border to the Canadian Arctic, China’s urban fringe to rural Honduras - the book provides new ways of thinking about the political dynamics of land in the 21st century.
This richly detailed and authoritative guide will be of interest to students across the social sciences, as well as anyone interested in current affairs and contemporary geopolitics.