Recent years have seen a globalization of property rights as the Western conception of property over land has extended across the world. As formerly community-owned land and natural resources are privatized and titling schemes proliferate, Property Rights from Below questions the trend toward treating land as a commodity and explores alternatives to the Western model. As we enter an era of resource scarcity and as competition for land and associated natural resources increases, purchasing power cannot become the sole criterion for land allocation; and the law of supply and demand in increasingly financialized markets cannot become the sole metric through which the value of land is determined. Using a range of examples from around the world, Property Rights from Below demonstrates that alternatives to this model often emerge from social innovations supported by local communities and that there is an urgent need for a broader political imagination when it comes to land governance. This innovative cross-disciplinary perspective on the pressing problems surrounding global property rights will be of interest to academics, students and professionals with an interest in property law, development economics and land governance.
1. Property Rights From Below: An Introduction to the Debate Olivier De Schutter and Balakrishnan Rajagopal Part I: The Global Commodification of Land and Competition for Resources 2. When Primitive Accumulation Inhabits Advanced Systems Saskia Sassen 3. Land Grab Governance and the Crisis of Market Rule Philip McMichael 4. From transgression to normative innovation: Land conflict resolution in South Kivu, Democratic Republic of the Congo An Ansoms, Emery Mudinga, Aymar Nyenyezi et al Part II: Social Mobilization and the Counter-Movement 5. Forging a Single Proletariat J. Phillip Thompson 6. Urban Squatters Sonia Katyal and Eduardo Penalver 7. Land and territory: struggles for land and territorial rights in Brazil Sergio Sauer and Luis Felipe Perdigao de Castro 8. Right to Land and Control Over Territories: How Peasants Movements are Claiming and Creating New Rights Priscilla Claeys Part III: Shaping Alternatives: from Commodification to Rebuilding the Commons 9. Facilitating the Commons Inside Out Hanoch Dagan and Tsilly Dagan 10. Urban Commons and Property Sheila Foster 11. When Land is Inalienable. Territorial transformations and peasants' property rights in Mexico Antonio Azuela
Olivier De Schutter is Professor at the University of Louvain (UCL), Belgium, and at SciencesPo (Paris). He is also a member of the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. He was the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right to food between 2008 and 2014 and has been a visiting professor at Columbia University and at Berkeley University, USA. Balakrishnan Rajagopal is a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA, where he is the head of the International Development Group at the Department of Urban Studies and Planning and the founding director of the Program on Human Rights and Justice and the Displacement Research and Action Network. He is an active member and one of the founders of the Third World Approaches to International Law (TWAIL) network of scholars.