Post-war agrarian capitalism

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As civil wars in the Global South often have a strong land and environmental component, policies addressing these problems purportedly play a key role in the construction and consolidation of durable peace. However, while an important amount of scholarly literature addressing the land-war nexus has been produced in the recent decade, the political economy of post-conflict remains an understudied field. This hinders our understanding of the contribution of war resource-grabbing and post-conflict accumulation to the transformations of capitalism.

This project seeks to re-contextualize post-conflict social transformations and public policies in the larger composition of the political economy. This can be approached through the concept of post-war agrarian capitalism, which can be defined as the process characterized by the convergence of warless conjunctures and post-conflict policies, leading to the exclusion of land from the realm of politics; in other words, our main hypothesis is that the discourses and practices associated to post-conflict policy-making combine to establish the definition of land problems as an economic matter, and the subordination of land policies to market mechanisms.

This study will be carried out using a multi-scalar comparison of the Ivorian, Ugandan and Colombian cases, which are illustrative cases of a ‘liberal peace’ model, purporting the idea that ‘good governance’ and a free market provide the bedrock for the stabilisation of war-torn societies. The inquiry will comprise interviews and observations at the national level, in transnational policy arenas, and in six subnational locations (two per country). This comparative research broadens and deepens the scope of an ongoing project, which has led us to work on the Ivorian and Colombian cases.

This project is financed by the French Scientific Research Agency (ANR).