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Cavanagh: Enclosure, dispossession, and the green economy - new contours of internal displacement in Liberia and Sierra Leone?

Article in 'African Geographical Review' by Connor Cavanagh

Cavanagh: Enclosure, dispossession, and the green economy - new contours of internal displacement in Liberia and Sierra Leone?

Abstract: Through a review of recent writings in political ecology and agrarian studies, this paper appraises the potential for emerging forms of ‘green economy’ initiatives to catalyze new forms of internal displacement in West Africa, with specific emphasis on the postwar contexts of Liberia and Sierra Leone. Following the International Committee of the Red Cross’ Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement, the primary drivers of forced migration are conventionally thought to include some combination of civil war, ostensibly ‘ethnic’ strife or cleansing, development-induced migration, or allegedly ‘natural’ disasters. However, land acquisitions for both conservation and commercial agriculture seem poised to constitute an important additional driver of internal displacement, threatening to map onto the unresolved legacies of these previous instances of forced migration in both Liberia and Sierra Leone. Drawing lessons from the role of agrarian grievances in each country’s history of civil conflict, in particular, I explore the ways in which such forms of displacement may pose clear and present dangers to the very peacebuilding efforts that proponents of a green economy transition in the Mano River region claim to support.

Published 2. August 2017 - 9:04 - Updated 2. August 2017 - 9:04

Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU)

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