Tag Archives: Ian Scoones

New research on land reform in Zimbabwe

Here is a useful summary of the papers presented by Leila Sinclair-Bright, Gareth James and Grasian Mkodzongi, at the ASAUK conference last week.

To accompany the recording of the discussion, here is a link to my own PowerPoint slides, which should help to further illustrate the points made during my presentation. I’m afraid it doesn’t make much sense without them, so I hope that those who are interested find this additional material both interesting and useful.

 

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As mentioned last week, the University of Sussex hosted the major biennial UK African Studies Association conference. Around 600 delegates were registered, and there was a real buzz, with panels on every conceivable topic from every corner of the continent. Quite a few papers reported on new work from Zimbabwe, and land and politics was a recurrent theme. In the end we had a single panel of three papers (as several panellists had to drop out at the last minute). It was a fascinating session to a standing-room-only audience.

The three panellists all reported on new research in the now not-so-new resettlements, representing different geographic areas, and diverse methodologies. All looked at how new livelihoods are being carved out following land reform in A1 sites. This included in-depth reflections on the relationships between farmers and farmworkers, a quantitative assessment of production outcomes across sites compared to communal and old resettlement…

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ASAUK 2014: New narratives and emerging evidence in the Zimbabwe land debate

The ASAUK biennial conference will be held at the University of Sussex and will run from Tuesday 9th to Thursday 11th of September, 2014. As it’s now fast-approaching, I thought I’d post a quick message to draw your attention to the panel ‘New narratives and emerging evidence in the Zimbabwe land debate’, which takes place on Wednesday 10th from 09:00-10:30 and 11:00-12:30.

The panel will debate the latest research on land, agriculture and rural livelihoods in Zimbabwe. There are 6 papers that each extend, challenge and nuance the findings of earlier studies. In today’s world, where anything over 140 characters is too wordy, I won’t post abstracts, but here is a list of panellists and working titles:

Shiela Chikulo, ‘Emerging market discourses in a changing ‘agrarian economy’? The case of the fresh vegetable markets in Zimbabwe’, Ruzivo Trust, Harare.

Marleen Dekker, ‘Navigating through times of scarcity: the intensification of a gift-giving economy after dollarization in old resettlement areas in Zimbabwe’, African Studies Centre, Leiden.

Gareth James, ‘Fast track land reform: smallholder land use and production outcomes in Shamva, Hwedza and Makoni districts of Zimbabwe’, Centre of African Studies, Edinburgh.

Grasian Mkodzongi, ‘The political economy of mineral resource extraction after Zimbabwe’s Fast Track Land Reform Programme: The case of Mhondoro Ngezi District’, University of Cape Town, South Africa.

Patience Mutopo, ‘Ethnographic reflections on the land reform and rural development in Mwenezi District, Zimbabwe’, African Studies Centre, Cologne.

Leila Sinclair-Bright, ‘Zimbabwean land reform: sympathy and recognition of farmworkers’ claims to belong’, Social Anthropology, University of Edinburgh.

The discussion will be chaired by Ian Scoones of the Institute of Development Studies, Sussex, and author of Zimbabwe’s Land Reform: Myths and Realities. 

So, if you’re going to the conference, look out for us and come join the discussion. Also, keep an eye on the Twitter feed @researchingzim for updates, and I’ll try and post a summary of the discussion here after the conference.

New book: Debating Zimbabwe’s Land Reform

A new book from Ian Scoones.

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Blog readers may be interested in the recently published book Debating Zimbabwe’s Land Reform. It’s out now in a low-cost version and available through Amazon.

Its 60 chapters are a compilation of some of the blogs that have been published on Zimbabweland in the last few years. They are clustered around a series of themes, each introduced with a new introductory essay. The themes are agricultural and livestock production, the economy, political dimensions, land, livelihoods and rural development, aid and development, comparative lessons and researching land and agrarian.

This blog has gathered quite a following. Not everyone agrees with what is written, but it certainly has helped catalyse debate and is a forum for sharing new research, from our on-going studies in Masvingo, but also from others’ work elsewhere in the country.

Readers come from Zimbabwe, the UK, South Africa, the US and around 100 other countries, with the blog getting…

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Beyond White Settler Capitalism: Zimbabwe’s Agrarian Reform

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An important new book – Land and Agrarian Reform in Zimbabwe: Beyond White Settler Capitalism – has just been published by CODESRIA. It is the product of the CODESRIA National Working Group on Zimbabwe, and is edited by Sam Moyo and Walter Chambati of the African Institute of Agrarian Studies. All 372 pages are free to download on the CODESRIA site.

The book is important in a number of respects. First, it sets the story of Zimbabwe’s recent land reform in a wider context, examining capitalist relations in historical and regional perspective. Second, it offers an alternative political narrative to the standard analysis focused on neopatrimonial capture by political elites. Third, it offers empirical material and analysis from researchers who have undertaken detailed fieldwork on a range of themes including labour (Chambati), community organisation (Murisa), the media (Chari) and mobilisation (Sadomba, Masuko). Finally, as perhaps the leading scholar on…

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