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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue
Title:Rural radicalism and the historical land conflict in the Malawian tea economy
Author:Chinig̣, Davide
Periodical:Journal of Southern African Studies (ISSN 1465-3893)
Geographic term:Malawi
Subjects:land conflicts
farmers' associations
External link:https://doi.org/10.1080/03057070.2016.1141514
Abstract:This article contributes to the debate about land conflicts in Africa and explores how people and social groups claim, negotiate and legitimate access to land and local resources through the construction of political repertoires drawing on history. Empirically, the article discusses a historical land conflict in Thyolo, southern Malawi, and presents details about a recently established rural movement known as the People's Land Organisation (PLO). The lens of territoriality is used to contextualise current rural radicalism within the history of the tea economy, and to highlight strategies to establish or maintain control over undeveloped or underdeveloped land. By suggesting that land conflicts embody broader competition for shares of public authority, the article concludes that territorial strategies drawing on alternative views of history are central to the formulation and legitimation of land claims in the Malawian tea economy. Notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]