Finance and Rural Land: Assembling Markets for Investment

Type: Paper
Sponsor Groups: Rural Geography Specialty Group
Poster #:
Day: 4/11/2018
Start / End Time: 1:20 PM / 3:00 PM (MDT)
Room: Galvez, , Marriott, 5th Floor
Organizers: William Green
Chairs: William Green


This paper session draws upon diverse geographical case studies to contribute to our theoretical understanding of the relationship between financial markets and rural land. After the 2008 financial crisis, many investors and nation-states went in search of land for agricultural commodity production, natural resources, and speculative accumulation. Scholars identified this initial rush of land investment as a kind of spatial fix to the problem of capital overaccumulation. Building upon this assessment, as well as diverse theoretical work on finance, geographers have more recently begun to investigate the various actors, technologies, and political processes that create financial markets in land in order to better understand the spatially uneven effects of finance capital upon people and places. The papers in this session seek to contribute to this broader theoretical work by investigating how land is assembled through new farming technologies, national titling programs, plantation concessions, and microfinance’s disciplinary powers of risk management. Contrary to geographic imaginaries of finance capital flowing like circuits through an international system, the papers in this panel variously demonstrate how land can be both a conduit and obstacle for the flow of capital in ways that contribute to spaces of uneven geographic development. The politics of state territoriality, conflicts over land access, and the materiality of food production all affect how finance capital travels. This panel also suggests that land’s financialization is not unilinear, but can sometimes be reversed.


Type Details Minutes Start Time
Presenter Sarah Ruth Sippel*, , Digital food futures? Farmland, financial investments and the emergence of new techno-finance intersections 20 1:20 PM
Presenter Stefan Ouma*, Department of Human Geography, Goethe University Frankfurt, Tobias Klinge, Department of Human Geography, Goethe University Frankfurt, “This country was built of foreign investment”: The Role of Regulatory Agencies in Transforming New Zealand Farmland into an Asset Class 20 1:40 PM
Presenter Charles Fogelman*, University of Illinois, The Millennium Challenge Corporation and Land Rights in the Global South 20 2:00 PM
Presenter W. Nathan Green*, University of Wisconsin - Madison, Assembling Land and Debt Markets in Cambodia 20 2:20 PM
Discussant Ian Baird The University of Wisconsin - Madison 20 2:40 PM

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