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From farm and range lands to industrial zones and natural areas, there is a growing debate over land: who owns it, who benefits from it, and what is it used for? Contested Global Landscapes, a three-year theme project  

Land Policy and Promise

June 16, 2015

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From farm and range lands to industrial zones and natural areas, there is a growing debate over land: who owns it, who benefits from it, and what is it used for? Contested Global Landscapes, a three-year theme project spearheaded by the Atkinson Center and Cornell’s Institute for Social Sciences, brought together scholars from around the world to investigate the complexity and diversity of global “land grabs” and land use, with a focus on world hotspots where changes in land rights have political, social, moral, environmental, and economic consequences that are little understood.

Led by sociologist Wendy Wolford, ACSF’s faculty director of economic development, the project connected Cornell researchers and international students from more than a dozen countries for three summer workshops. The group’s accomplishments include a new book series. Next fall, Wolford will continue to build a global community by teaching DSOC 6620, the Social Life of Land.

“Beyond the papers and the books that the team has produced, beyond the workshops and the conferences, beyond the grant proposals written and funded, beyond the number of students taught in courses, beyond all those tangible markers of success,” said Wolford, “this team is to be celebrated for building and creating a community.”

Read more in the Cornell Chronicle.