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New forms of land enclosures: multinationals and state production of territory in Cameroon
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Department of Cultural Sciences. (Concurrences in Colonial and Postcolonial Studies)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4505-1683
2014 (English)In: Studia Sociologica, ISSN 0867-5759, Vol. LXI, no 2, 35-58 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The 2008 financial crises led to a scramble for land and other naturalresources reminiscent of colonialism by foreign governments and multinational corporations to feed their populations and pre-empt the eventuality of another food crises through large-scale agricultural investment. This paper discusses the creation of capitalist frontiers in the colonial agricultural enclaves of Cameroon’s Littoral region where three multinational plantation companies hold sway. It demonstrates how the coming into the country of foreign investors has transformed the meaning of land and led to contesting legal orders between customary and statutory land tenure, the transformation of man-nature relationship and the dispossession of local communities due to the developmentalist state’s production of territory. In the present neoliberal context, the state is increasingly controlling people and their relations to natural resources including land through the production of territory that is subsequently handed over to foreign investors. The paper adopts the view that the use of the expression ‘new enclosures’ is a misnomer because these developments are taking place at the very sites of the colonial frontier in Cameroon’s Littoral region. It calls attention to the need for land governance reforms so as to restitute local land rights and for the need to respect internationally recognized environmental standards by multinational corporations.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Studia Universitatis Babes-Bolyai, Cluj-Napoca, 2014. Vol. LXI, no 2, 35-58 p.
Keyword [en]
Frontier, Agricultural development, Production of territory, Communal land rights, Land governance, Developmentalism, New enclosure
National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalization Studies)
Research subject
Economy, Cultural Economy; Natural Science, Environmental Science; Environmental Science, Natural Resources Management; Social Sciences; Social Sciences, Peace and Development Studies; Social Sciences, Political Science; Social Sciences, Sociology; Social Sciences, Human Geography
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-38720OAI: diva2:773984
The 11th Annual Conference of the Romanian Society for Social and Cultural Anthropology, Cluj-Napoca, November 21-23, 2014
A multiscale, cross‐disciplinary approach to the study of climate change effect on ecosystem services and biodiversity
Available from: 2014-12-20 Created: 2014-12-20 Last updated: 2015-01-30Bibliographically approved

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