Institut für Sozialanthropologie

Prof. Dr. Haller, Tobias

World Commons Week 4 to 12 October 2018

This blog you are reading belongs to a series of 6 blogs shown as a contribution of Switzerland to the world commons week 4-12. 10. 2018 organized by the International Association for the Study of the Commons (IASC), see

The Institute of Social Anthropology conducts comparative qualitative research on LSLA in Ghana, Malawi, Morocco, Tanzania, Sierra Leone and Kenya on the way these investments impact commons and their users, including a focus on gender relations and their transformations. Analyzing institutional change from common to state property and privatization these cases show that LSLA does not just lead to land but also to commons grabbing, as communal/clan land and resource rights are transformed into state and private property. This process undermines resilience and food security for vulnerable women and marginal resources users, but is legitimized by companies and elite groups as development and justified by legal claims (institution shopping). At the same time, compensations and corporate social responsibility programs (CSR) of companies/states lead to “new commons” (f.e. funds, development schemes etc.) to which, however, marginal resource users often do not have access and which do not compensate for the losses. These projects are led by Prof. Dr. Tobias Haller (ISA), Prof. Sabine Strasser (ISA) and Prof. Jean-David Gerber (Institut for Geography), University of Bern.

Upcoming blog posts
GHANA: Institutional change, gender and power relations. Case study of a ‘best practice’ large-scale land acquisition in Ghana. By Kristina Lanz TANZANIA: Large-Scale Land Acquisitions for forest plantations and gender in Kilolo District, Iringa region. By  Désirée Gmür MOROCCAN CASE STUDY: The effect of Large-Scale Green Energy Investment on Gender Relations in Ouarzazate. By Sarah Ryser MALAWI: The Impacts of Large-scale Sugarcane Outgrower Schemes on Gender Relations in Dawangwa. By Timothy Adams SIERRA LEONE: Commons and Resilience Grabbing through a large-scale land acquisition in Sierra Leone. By Franziska Marfurt, Fabian Käser, Samuel Lustenberger
4 + 9 October
5 + 10 October
 6 + 11 October
7 + 12 October
8 October 

Please check on our homepage on further information on research on the commons....

links to LSLA and Gender, Ethnography of Land Deals, SCALES-Project, Food sustainability project

Are you interested in the topic please contact

Would you like to publish on similar issues please see the special issue announcement of the journal LAND: