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Dieng, Rama Salla (2019) Contemporary land rush, and dynamics of agrarian change in Senegal (2006-2017). PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

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This thesis critically examines the political economy of the post-2006 land rush in the regions of Saint-Louis and Louga, in the Delta and the Valley of River Senegal. Through a comparative case-study approach, and a feminist lens, it investigates the following questions: i) How and why did the land rush take place in Northern Senegal’s horticultural sector? ii) What are the roles of the different stakeholders at different levels? iii) What are the differentiated outcomes of interactions between “emerging” and “old” classes of capital and labour in this context? Drawing on my own original data – collected over 2 years through my multi-methodological approach including 7 months of immersive fieldwork in villages in Northern Senegal and visits to UK branches of the three selected companies - I investigate the global-local dynamics of agrarian change in northern Senegal. I do so with a longue durée approach to understand what yesteryear processes have sedimented to engender the contemporary land rush, and with what consequences. I argue that workers are not being exploited in a vacuum, and challenge constructions of a genderless, undifferentiated “local community” that falls prey to an “undifferentiated capital”. Rather, I unpack the multidimensional outcomes that have occurred in the decade following the land rush by focusing on social differentiation from below (workers or classes of labour), from above (classes of capital), and on the wider Anthropocene beyond markets. This leads me to conclude that the post-2006 land rush in the Senegalese agricultural sector has exacerbated the pre-existing dynamics of agrarian change. The main contribution of this thesis is that it is one of the first pieces of research to provide empirical evidence on what happens “beyond the hype” of land deals in Francophone West Africa with empirical evidence from private investors, political and traditional leaders, and different relevant social groups.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses
Supervisors Name: Carlos Oya
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 23 Jul 2021 13:44

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