Article first published online: 3 MAR 2014
Copyright © 2014, by the Rural Sociological Society
Volume 79, Issue 1, page 1, March 2014
How to Cite
Bonanno, A. (2014), Editorial Note. Rural Sociology, 79: 1. doi: 10.1111/ruso.12039
- Issue published online: 3 MAR 2014
- Article first published online: 3 MAR 2014
This first issue of 2014 (volume 79) opens with an article by Loka Ashwood entitled “Where's the Producer? Limiting Liability in Midwestern Industrial Hog Production.” The rest of the issue is dedicated to the theme of “land grabbing” through a special collection of papers entitled “People, Power, and Land: New Enclosures on a Global Scale.” Proposed and organized by Charles Geisler of Cornell University, a prospectus for this special collection was reviewed and eventually accepted by the Rural Sociology Editorial Board. Its papers underwent the normal peer-review process and those that were accepted appear in this issue. These papers are the outcome of work carried out by members of “New Enclosures Research Working Group” at Cornell University and the elaboration of texts previously presented at working-group meetings, conferences, and other academic gatherings. I certainly agree with the assessments of the members of the Rural Sociology Editorial Board that “land grabbing” is one of the most significant phenomena in contemporary society and one of the most problematic aspects of globalization. As indicated by the papers, land grabbing is not a new phenomenon under capitalism. Yet its acceleration after the 2006–2008 world food crisis and 2008 financial crisis makes land grabbing a significant contemporary issue in rural studies and beyond. Important are the various claims that accompany its development. The corporate-supported claim of its profitability and attractiveness as land has become a desirable financial asset is complemented by productivist pronouncements about the need for more, and more efficient, food production. Modernization theory proponents stress the positive implication that including areas of the Global South into the global capitalist economy would entail. These positions are opposed by those who see land grabbing as a process that dispossesses local people; runs counter to their struggles for independence, sovereignty, and emancipation; and expands the imperialistic character of neoliberal capitalism. Ultimately, these are all aspects of the contested terrain of globalization. This special collection elucidates salient components and theories of the complex phenomenon of land grabbing and significantly adds to the debate and literature.