New patterns of land appropriation in post-socialist space
Since the advent of neoliberal transition, post-socialist space became a disputed territory where new landed oligarchy, foreign interests, old capital and citizens aligned together either to allow or to resist patterns of land appropriation. Recent decades of economic and political crises have witnessed new waves of urban and rural land acquisitions, with new land codes emerging and the opening-up of land reserves to local and foreign investors. One feature, however, remains familiar – common people are still deprived of their land, now in the hands of the few.
Land is foremost a political category, it is a finite resource that can be appropriated, distributed, and owned. Throughout the history of civil society, acquisition of land has been associated with accumulation of power. In Russia, for example, land appropriation is shaped by multiple historical forces and legacies of collective land ownership and fictitious private property, centralized state oppression and the autonomy of the people. Against this background we see the post-socialist space as a unique avenue to contest predominant theoretical assumptions about the triad of land, capital, and power. The proposed session aims to put a start to this scholarly task.
Topics may include but are not limited to:
Land acquisitions and urban property relations;
Urban land and real-estate financialization and speculation;
Displacement, evictions, and dispossessions;
Land grabbing and agrarian change.
Dr. Daniela Zupan, Faculty of Urban and Regional Development, National Research University Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia;
Daniela Zupan defended her dissertation on paradigm shifts in urban planning and design at Stuttgart University. Currently she is a postdoctoral research fellow at the Institute of Regional Studies and Urban Planning. Her research interests include urban transformation processes in CEE countries, urban planning and design concepts, as well as housing and housing policies.
Dr. Vera Smirnova, Faculty of Urban and Regional Development, National Research University Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia;
Vera Smirnova is a postdoctoral research fellow at the Institute of Regional Studies and Urban Planning with research interests at the intersection of urban political and historical geography. Her doctoral dissertation at Virginia Tech, US, has explored the issues of forced displacement and territorial relations of power through the lens of land enclosure in the context of late imperial and post-socialist Russia.