Transnational land investment web: land grabs, TNCs, and the challenge of global governance

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Despite international media’s waning attention, research and political debates on global land grabbing have not subsided. We argue the importance of understanding the ‘transnational land investment web’ of corporate and state actors and institutions, which are not always immediately visible. Focusing on transnational corporations (TNCs) based in the European Union (EU), we examine five sets of actors and institutional spheres through which these actors are able to grab lands beyond Europe. It is crucial to understand these not as individual sets of actors or institutions, but as interconnected sets, comprising a web. These are EU-based: (1) Private companies using regular institutional platforms; (2) Finance capital companies; (3) Public–private partnerships; (4) Development Finance Institutions; and (5) Companies using EU policies to gain control of land through the supply chain. One implication of this complex web is that democratic governance in the context of land grabs becomes an even more daunting challenge.




Borras, S. M., Mills, E. N., Seufert, P., Backes, S., Fyfe, D., Herre, R., & Michéle, L. (2020). Transnational land investment web: land grabs, TNCs, and the challenge of global governance. Globalizations, 17(4), 608–628.

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