From resolving land disputes to agrarian justice–dealing with the structural crisis of plantation agriculture in eastern DR Congo

Mathijs van Leeuwen*, Gillian Mathys, Lotje de Vries, Gemma van der Haar

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Land disputes in conflict-affected settings are often considered as a security threat, to be addressed through mediation and strengthening the rule of law. This overlooks the roots of land conflicts in longer-term processes of agrarian development and worsening conditions of land and labour access. A case-study of a dispute between former plantation labourers and concession holders in eastern DR Congo shows mediation's incapacity to counter perceived structural injustices in land access and difficulties in making a living. While dispute resolution may temporarily calm down tensions, it cannot substitute for fundamental political choices vis-a-vis wider questions of agrarian development and justice.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Peasant Studies
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 4 Dec 2020

Keywords

  • agrarian change
  • agrarian justice
  • DR Congo
  • Land disputes
  • mediation
  • peacebuilding
  • political economy

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