Trajectories of land acquisition and enclosure: Development schemes, virtual land grabs, and green acquisitions in Indonesia's Outer Islands

John F. McCarthy, Jacqueline A.C. Vel, Suraya Abdulwahab Afiff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

92 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

While the size and speculative nature of land transactions in the wake of energy, food and climate crises have surprised observers, the reasons for partial implementation of many land developments remain largely unexamined. This contribution investigates trajectories of land acquisition and enclosure by analyzing four acquisition processes in Indonesia - those associated with rice, oil palm, Jatropha and carbon sequestration - considering their implications for comparative studies elsewhere. The paper finds that current patterns of land use change represent a continuation of ongoing land transformation processes. It describes the logic leading to partial realization of large-scale schemes. Highlighting the importance of interactions between formal and vernacular rural land development processes, the essay concludes that many large-scale schemes are better understood as virtual land acquisitions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)521-549
Number of pages29
JournalJournal of Peasant Studies
Volume39
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2012

Keywords

  • Indonesia
  • agrarian change
  • biofuels
  • climate change
  • food security
  • forests
  • land tenure
  • oil palm
  • rice

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