Transnational land deals: Towards an inclusive land governance framework | Land Portal
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Source: Land Use Policy Journal

Written by:Dereje Teklemariama, Hossein Azadi, Jan Nyssena, Mitiku Haile, Frank Witloxa

The literature on global land deals or land acquisition has extensively described the possible drivers, trajectories,
and their impacts. In addition,the concept of a ‘land grab’ per se is heavily contested and viewed
as a work in progress. Many have argued on the topic of inclusive land deals without addressing which
groups of stakeholders are vested with particular powers and interests in the deals. After reviewing this
phenomena in contemporary global land deals and the stakeholder theory of management developed in
the 1980s, this paper proposes a conceptual land deal framework. Accordingly, the actors in land deals
are characterised and disaggregated into seven generic groups, i.e., “inactive”, “discretionary”, “exigent”,
“dominant”, “dangerous”, “dependent”, and “definitive”. The paper concluded that to address the governance
challenges in land deals, a need exists to resolve conceptualisation deficiencies related to inclusive
land deal frameworks. Thus, this work suggests that extending the stakeholder theory of management
to the global governance of transnational land acquisition can significantly aid in resolving conceptualisation
limitations for inclusive transnational land deals. Hence, a new inclusive land deal framework
was developed that attempts to integrate the biophysical environment, stakeholders, governance, and
institutions. Furthermore, this paper recommends that contextualisation of the suggested “land deal
power-interest clustering (LD-PIC)” and “legitimacy-interest-power (LIP)” frameworks to those already
signed and ongoing land deals using real-world data is a timely matter.

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