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Conference: Property and Citizenship in Developing Societies.

What rights and access to resources are held by whom? How are resources secured, and how are entitlements distributed? A conference arranged by Michael Eilenberg (AU) and Christian Lund (KU) aims to discuss the processes shaping life conditions and chances for millions of people in the poorer parts of the world.

2012.09.05 | Camilla Dimke

Land-grabbing, deforestation, migration, urbanization, political participation, displacement, resettlement, decentralization. There is no shortage of processes - large in scale and deep in scope - that currently shape life conditions and chances for millions of people in the poorer parts of the world. Disparate as these processes may seem, they all in various ways engage two core questions, namely what rights and access to recources are held by whom? How are resources secured?, and how are entitlements distrubuted? Together, the relationship between property and citizenship - in a broad sense - capture this this inquiry.

Conference description:

No single political institution controls space. Neither in recent democracies nor in one-party regimes, or in post-conflict societies, do governments actually wield the control they aspire to exercise. Therefore, people protect their claims by whatever means available in order to solidify access and secure exclusion of others. Actors adress different institutions to have claims validated, and they will fashion their claims to land according to the nature of the institution. Conversely, however, political institutions will attempt to validate certain claims as rights and thus attempt to establish political authority - and sovereignty. The production of property rights in varied forms and the intertwined production of political subjects result in the inclusion and exclusion of people.

We invite papers that analyse the assemblages of governing powers and investigate the institutional dynamics of recognition and exclusion and what institutions become the results of these processes? In particular we welcome papers that deal with conncetions between access to land and resources, and political identity and subjectivity. In this lies a profound question about state formation.

The papers can engage with these questions in rural, peri-urban and urban settings alike.

Format of the conference:

We will give ample time for each presentation and set aside 30 minutes presentation and 30 minutes for discussion. We are not interested in the conventional 12-minute-presentation-and-no-time-for-discussion-format.

Paper givers may also be called upon to be discussants and chairs of sessions where they are not themselves presenting.

There will be a mix of plenary and parallel sessions. We expect to be able to accomodate around 50 participants and the organizers are interested in taking the best contributions forward to publication in a number of special issues of journals.

Important dates:

  • 15 October 2012: Your abstract of max 600 words must be recieved by the conference.
  • 15 December 2012: You will be informed wether your presentation has been retained
  • 1 February 2013: You will recieve pratical information (hotel venue etc.)

Read further details about the conference in the published Call for papers.


Abstracts and questions to: Christian Lund (clund@foi.ku.dk) or Michael Eilenberg (michael@eilenberg.dk).


The conference is made possible through funding from the Procit research group and the Agrarian Expansion initiative.

Conference, Research