Land Grabbing and NGO Advocacy in Liberia: A Deconstruction of the ‘Homogeneous Community"

Citation:

Gilfoy, Kieran. 2015. “Land Grabbing and NGO Advocacy in Liberia: A Deconstruction of the ‘homogeneous Community.’” African Affairs 114 (455): 185–205. doi:10.1093/afraf/adu078.

 

Author: Kieran Gilfoy

Abstract:

The literature on the “new global land grab” has to date been preoccupied with macro and theoretical studies, resulting in a lack of in-depth local studies. This article uses a Liberian case study and quasi-anthropological methods to address this imbalance. In Liberia, historical confrontations over resource access that are tied to issues of land ownership have been given new life by the interjection of a Malaysian palm oil corporation. Elders, as the biggest potential losers in the confiscation of land, have successfully linked themselves to NGOs and transnational advocacy campaigns that publicize land grabbing and pressure for international standards and compliance. At the same time, young men who largely came of age during the civil war have been rendered invisible and palpably frustrated. In exploring the generational divide that has characterized the Sime Darby plantation, this article not only reveals that land grabbing has its supporters as well as its detractors, but also unmasks the role that NGO advocacy networks play in local politics and in shaping the narratives that the wider world hears about the response of African communities to new development trends. 

 

Topics: Civil Wars, Development, Extractive Industries, Land grabbing, NGOs, Post-Conflict Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Liberia

Year: 2015

© 2017 CONSORTIUM ON GENDER, SECURITY & HUMAN RIGHTSLEGAL STATEMENT All photographs used on this site, and any materials posted on it, are the property of their respective owners, and are used by permission. Photographs: The images used on the site may not be downloaded, used, or reproduced in any way without the permission of the owner of the image. Materials: Visitors to the site are welcome to peruse the materials posted for their own research or for educational purposes. These materials, whether the property of the Consortium or of another, may only be reproduced with the permission of the owner of the material. This website contains copyrighted materials. The Consortium believes that any use of copyrighted material on this site is both permissive and in accordance with the Fair Use doctrine of 17 U.S.C. § 107. If, however, you believe that your intellectual property rights have been violated, please contact the Consortium at info@genderandsecurity.org.