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Keywords:

  • La Vía Campesina;
  • land reform;
  • transnational social movement;
  • peasant movement

Vía Campesina's ‘Global Campaign for Agrarian Reform’ (GCAR) has made a significant impact (inter)nationally in reshaping the terms of the land reform debates. However, its impact on other land policy dynamics has been marginal. Meanwhile, the campaign inadvertently exposed latent class-based and ideological distinctions within the transnational network. This essay explains how the GCAR emerged, and has been able to influence the broader global land reform debates, but has not been able (so far) to significantly impact other major dimensions of the land policy debates. It argues that if GCAR is to retain relevance, it must deepen and broaden its current position on land to go beyond the parameters of conventional land reform. Moreover, it must also find ways to better integrate ‘global issue framing from above’ with ‘local/national campaigns from below’ if it is to strengthen its process of ‘issue/campaign externalization/transnationalization’. Doing this may require the network to rethink some of its well-established organizational practices and ideological perspectives.