Piercing the Fog : Transcalar Social Mobilization around Large-Scale Land Acquisitions in Mozambique

Global interest in land as a commodity on the world market increased in
the mid-2000s in the form of large-scale land acquisitions (LSLA). Potential harmful effects and the opacity that characterizes these land deals provoke resistance from social movements. At the same time, land is increasingly regulated in multilevel governance, which offers opportunity structures to activists. By tracing the development of land regulations, I argue in my dissertation that a land norm emerged as a result of activists pushing for the adoption of land governance and because of the salience of the topic due to rising LSLA. The dissertation further explores strategies of transcalar social mobilization in situations of lacking information. In a comparative case study of the resistance to two large-scale land investments in Mozambique, I trace how repertoires unfold and activists perceive different political and legal opportunity structures to unveil information and call for transparency; in this context, I identify the legal opportunity structure of co-authoring legal instruments. Last, drawing on models of transnational social mobilization, my study reveals how information about a target of social mobilization is generated in the first place. The findings show that activists deploy three repertoires to address the lack of information: research and assessment to better understand the project at hand, networking to use and create relations to access information, and community training to disseminate generated knowledge.


Citation style:
Could not load citation form.


Use and reproduction:
All rights reserved