This article explores the emergence of land reclamation movements in contemporary southern Malawi through the case of the People’s Land Organization in Thyolo. It shows that land reclamation movements are the result of a historical politics of land reform that has reproduced a dual agrar- ian system and shaped inequalities in land and labour since the colonial period. The article speaks to the debate about contemporary rural move- ments and employs the concepts of de-peasantization and re-peasantization to describe the tendencies toward the dissolution and reconstitution of the peasantry in the contemporary neo-liberal context. It concludes that the leg- acies of colonialism and the selective but incomplete integration of worker- peasants into the plantation economy have tended to reproduce the material and symbolic conditions necessary for people to reconstitute themselves as peasants. In this context, land has come to symbolize autonomy and to embody the struggle for socio-economic and political enfranchisement.

Re-peasantization and land reclamation movements in Malawi

Chinigò, Davide
2016

Abstract

This article explores the emergence of land reclamation movements in contemporary southern Malawi through the case of the People’s Land Organization in Thyolo. It shows that land reclamation movements are the result of a historical politics of land reform that has reproduced a dual agrar- ian system and shaped inequalities in land and labour since the colonial period. The article speaks to the debate about contemporary rural move- ments and employs the concepts of de-peasantization and re-peasantization to describe the tendencies toward the dissolution and reconstitution of the peasantry in the contemporary neo-liberal context. It concludes that the leg- acies of colonialism and the selective but incomplete integration of worker- peasants into the plantation economy have tended to reproduce the material and symbolic conditions necessary for people to reconstitute themselves as peasants. In this context, land has come to symbolize autonomy and to embody the struggle for socio-economic and political enfranchisement.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12071/30329
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