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New Light Cast on Agrarian Change

2 Jun 2003



In collaboration with UNRISD, the UK-based Blackwell Publishing has released a special issue of the Journal of Agrarian Change (Special Issue 3(1&2)) in the first half of 2003.

"This is a timely collection, in which careful empirical analysis is presented with considerable analytical power and great clarity. The papers are refreshingly original, always richly informative, sometimes provocative, and unfailingly of absorbing interest", said the editors Terence J. Byrnes and Henry Bernstein.

This collection of cutting-edge articles focuses on recent shifts in thinking about land rights, particularly as they relate to women. Leading feminist scholars in the field provide searching treatment of the long-neglected subject of gender and access to land.

The articles are introduced and contextualized by UNRISD Research Co-ordinator, Shahra Razavi. She weaves together the findings and arguments of contributions which look at the implications of the current neoliberal policy agenda for a number of specific regions. Topics covered range from policy discussions about women’s land rights in sub-Saharan Africa to land tenure reforms and women’s interests in Tanzania; and from new developments with respect to gender and land rights in India and Uzbekistan, to agrarian reform, rural social movements and women’s land rights in Brazil.

Careful empirical analysis is presented with analytical power and clarity. The papers are provocative, refreshingly original and richly informative.

As UNRISD Director, Thandika Mkandawire said: "By highlighting the inadequacies of blanket policy prescriptions, and providing a textured analysis of the differentiated landscape in which the gender/land nexus is situated, this volume takes a step in the right direction.

A book version of this issue of the Journal of Agrarian Change was released in May 2003 and can be ordered from: Blackwell Publishing, 9600 Garsington Road, Oxford OX4 2DQ, UK

Contents: Preface—Thandika Mkandawire•Editors’ Introduction—Terence J. Byres and Henry Bernstein•Introduction: Agrarian Change, Gender and Land Rights—Shahra Razavi•Global Capitalism, Deflation and Agrarian Crisis in Developing Countries—Utsa Patnaik•Policy Discourses on Women’s Land Rights in Sub-Saharan Africa: The Implications of the Re-turn to the Customary—Ann Whitehead and Dzodzi Tsikata•Piety in the Sky? Gender Policy and Land Reform in South Africa—Cherryl Walker•Securing Women’s Interests within Land Tenure Reforms: Recent Debates in Tanzania—Dzodzi Tsikata•Gender and Land Rights Revisited: Exploring New Prospects via the State, Family and Market—Bina Agarwal•The Cry for Land: Agrarian Reform, Gender and Land Rights—Deniz Kandiyoti•Women’s Land Rights and Rural Social Movements in the Brazilian Agrarian Reform—Carmen Diana Deere•Index.

Shahra Razavi is Research Co-ordinator at UNRISD.

Agrarian Change, Gender and Land Rights is co-published with Blackwell Publishing. Paperback, ISBN 1-4051-1076-7, GBP 19.99, Americas/Canada 39.95, 296 pages, 2003.

This news piece was prepared by Nicolas Bovay, UNRISD Information Officer. For further information please contact him.