The aspects that will elucidate the cases are based on the theoretical part of this paper and they revolve around two different approaches. First of all, that one critical to neoliberalism is based specially on David Harvey and furthered by Phillip McMichael. This part aims to connect Harvey’s aspects on neoliberalism with the emerging complex of biofuels and other agribusiness interests on the global stage. From this perspective, I will proceed to identify the components and dynamics that reflect on the case of biofuel production and land grabbing. Furthermore, to compare, therefore demonstrating if refine or challenge the critics to neoliberalism mainly by Harvey and McMichael, and other that complement the analysis in the theoretical part. The second part of this chapter focuses on the Sustainable Development approach, specifically on the social aspect developed by Murphy’s principles for social sustainability. These contribute to shedding light on the analysis and factors as well as subsequent findings of interactions between those. In order to have a better understanding of the analysis regarding impacts, both cases follow two rationales, thus both theoretical approaches contribute to both concepts. They are preliminarily explained to see the connection I want to convey.
6 Thus it is necessary to define terms which are often left undefined, such as in the case of land grabbing. Defining Land Grabbing: The ‘land grabbing’ issue has emerged as a ‘‘catch-all phrase to define the explosion on (trans)national commercial land transactions and land speculation, not just around the large scale production of food and biofuels’’ (Borras, Franco; 2012: 34). The recent phenomenon, as many call it, has been explained since the 2007–08 food prices and biofuel crisis, which led investors, agribusinesses and governments to turn their attention towards agriculture and land after decades of neglect (Oxfam report, 2011). However, ontological considerations arise as the issue is seen from two perspectives and names. First, as the politically loaded phrase ‘land grabbing’ isused by radical social movements, who first introducedit; and second, as the depoliticized phrase ‘large-scale land investments’, more recently introduced and popularized by mainstream international development institutions and governments. Thus ‘‘the image of ‘land grabbing’ is seen as a grand opportunity to further extend capitalist agro-industry in the name of pro-poor and ecologically sustainable economic development’’ (Borras, Franco; 2012: 35).The case of land grabbing in this study is framed within the political debate by the social movements as dynamics of dispossession, evictions and displacement unfolds. These dynamics and impacts have increased the movements that claim land in historical and traditional notions of access through hard work and collective action. These notions belong to a world-view at the core of their social, economic, cultural and ecological lives. However, under the logic of neoliberalism, the peasant’s land is depicted under features of un
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