Post-war agrarian capitalism

Over the past decade, scholars and practitioners have increasingly come to recognize the importance of land conflicts in the emergence of armed violence and civil wars. In Africa, South Asia, and Latin America, land tensions are arguably a primary factor nurturing instability and requiring the intervention of peacemakers, development professionals, and governance experts.

Most scholarly literature has focused on the multiple ways in which land breeds violence. As climate change and population growth spark rivalries over diminishing and vulnerable resources, land has become a vector of armed mobilization and a critical ingredient in the political polarization. Land tensions are instrumentalized by political entrepreneurs to reproduce and reinforce ethnic boundaries, as land plays a key role in clientelistic distribution and brokerage.

Although the impact of land on violence has generated a significant body of work, far less is known about the consequences of armed violence on the ways people gain and maintain access to land. Arguably, war and violence were crucial factors in the development of capitalism in the Euro-Atlantic world. While this observation is far from controversial for students of economic history and political economy, scholarly analyses of contemporary civil wars have largely ignored it. Even more importantly, most of the political economy of war deals with the central question of how war is funded and how these sources of funding affect the length and brutality of armed conflict. Much less has been written on the consequences of violence in long-term economic processes such as capital accumulation, class formation, and labour control.

The aim of this project is precisely to fill this gap. This project is financed by the French Scientific Research Agency (ANR).


Academic output of this project

One book and six peer reviewed papers:

  • Grajales, Jacobo. 2021. Agrarian Capitalism, War and Peace in Colombia: Beyond Dispossession. London: Routledge.
  • Grajales, Jacobo. 2020c. ‘Losing Land in Times of Peace: Post-War Agrarian Capitalism in Colombia and Côte d’Ivoire’. The Journal of Peasant Studies. doi:10.1080/03066150.2019.1691535.
  • Grajales, Jacobo. 2020b. ‘From War to Wealth? Capitalist Peace and Land Policies in Côte d’Ivoire’. Review of African Political Economy 47 (163): 78–94. doi:10.1080/03056244.2020.1731683.
  • Grajales, Jacobo. 2020a. ‘A Land Full of Opportunities? Agrarian Frontiers, Policy Narratives and the Political Economy of Peace in Colombia’. Third World Quarterly 47 (7): 1141–1160. doi:10.1080/01436597.2020.1743173.
  • Grajales, Jacobo. 2019. ‘Les terres de la paix. Politiques de l’aide, politiques foncières et sortie de conflit en Colombie’. Gouvernement et action publique 8 (4): 25–47.
  • Grajales, Jacobo. 2017. ‘De la spoliation à l’accumulation. Violence, pacification et conflits fonciers en Colombie’. Critique internationale, no. 75: 21–36.
  • Grajales, Jacobo. 2016. ‘La terre, entre guerre et paix. Politiques foncières et sortie de conflit en Colombie’. Les Etudes du Ceri, no. 223.

Check the publications page for a complete list.