The Millennium Challenge Corporation and Land Rights in the Global South

Authors: Charles Fogelman*, University of Illinois
Topics: Development, Human-Environment Geography
Keywords: development, land, millennium challenge corporation, property
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/11/2018
Start / End Time: 1:20 PM / 3:00 PM
Room: Galvez, , Marriott, 5th Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


The Millennium Challenge Corporation, an international development arm of the U.S. government, has approved over $10 billion in grant assistance since its founding in 2004. Of that grant total, over half a billion dollars has been devoted to land projects. These projects are typically focused on two parallel aims: land registration and titling programs, alongside a revamped policy environment that provides for market exchanges of land. This paper investigates to what extent these "land and property rights investments" have mirrored one another. Although the MCC claims that "Countries develop their MCC proposals in broad consultation within their society," previous work has found significant overlap in the language used in the compacts between the MCC and recipient countries (Mawdsley 2007, 499).
In this paper, I critically analyze all 17 agreements with a land component between MCC and recipient countries to determine answers to two questions: 1. To what extent does MCC propagate one-size-fits-all land policies and practices? 2. To what extent do these MCC-sponsored policy and practice reforms "assemble land for financial investment" and what impact does that have on their stated goal of poverty reduction?

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