Fair Transitions and the Politics of Land

LANDac Annual Conference 2023

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The international conference of 2023 is a joint effort between IOS-Fair Transitions and LANDac at the crossroads of the fair transitions and land governance debates in the context of climate change. The IOS-Fair Transitions-LANDac International Conference 2023 is structured around the joint challenge of finding ways to make transitions fair and inclusive, for human and non-human life. We look forward to an exciting transdisciplinary collaboration that we hope will draw many of you to Utrecht, The Netherlands. The conference will be held on site with a limited offer of hybrid possibilities.

Call for sessions

Until 15 February 2023, you can submit a session proposal on one of the themes mentioned below. Submission of abstracts for papers opens Feb 28 and closes on March 20, 2023.

I Transition pathways and the question of inequality

The climate crisis has disproportionate impacts across the globe and within societies. Transitions risk reproducing and deepening inequalities at multiple scales and levels. Access to land and property is a key dimension of socio-economic, political, gender, generational, and racialised inequalities. Inequality is reflected in outcome (unequal sharing of the burden of risks and benefits) but also process (who gets a seat at the table). We invite sessions that analyse these connections; that theorize, historicize and critique current norms and pathways of transition from the vantage point of (in)equality; or that propose ways to use transitions creatively as a lever to reduce inequality.

II Rethinking inclusive transitions from a more-than-human perspective

The consequences of our human-centred ways of thinking (we call it humanism, or anthropocentrism), have had major consequences for how we speak of the earth, of non-human forms of life, and of course for how we envision ourselves. The good news is that, at the start of the 21st century, in theory, but also in literature and in the arts, in law and of course in activism, this more-than-human (or posthuman) world has become increasingly important. Today, many would agree, that thinking about fair and inclusive transitions necessarily requires a more-than-human  perspective, but how are the interests of non-human beings represented and how are human and non-human interests negotiated? How can we realise, politically, socially and ethically, a use of land that is fair for all?

III Transition squared: Rethinking land governance, land rights, and responsible investment

The claims generated by the energy transition, climate change mitigation, carbon capture, food production, and nature conservation, translate into considerable challenges for land governance for which current institutions are only partly equipped. Key concerns are with the role of formal and informal institutions for conflict mediation and the protection of land rights in view of multiple claims on the ground; and upstream measures related to responsible land use planning and due diligence requirements.

IV Activism: Trusted alliances and unusual collaborations

Forging fair transitions will not be possible without active engagement from different sectors of society. In terms of activism these are both challenging and exciting times. There is much to learn from the experience of local and transnational activism built up in the fields of (more-than-) human rights and environmental justice. At the same time, the climate imperative has motivated many young people to engage, renewing repertoires of activism, using the possibilities of social media. We invite sessions that explore these developments and the unusual alliances that emerge, between long-standing social movements, ‘activist’ politicians, youth activism, but also investigative journalism and the use of documentaries.

V Building new imaginaries for fair transitions

Today’s multiple challenges require crossing disciplinary boundaries and professional divides, to imagine what fair and inclusive futures might look like. We are particularly interested to host sessions that reflect on the cross-fertilisation of different kinds of knowledges, on creative interventions that connect literature, musicology, media and performance studies, and on diverse ways of knowing and thinking represented in artistic research, with the sciences (think of bio art), but also in how makers are interested in juridical speculation (in performance, in drama).

LANDac & IOS Fair Transitions

The Netherlands Academy on Land Governance for Equitable and Sustainable Development (LANDac) brings together researchers, policy makers, development practitioners and business professionals in the field of land governance and development. The LANDac Annual International Conference is an important periodic event for exchange, synergy and collaboration between these different actors. The conference takes place each year at the end of June or the beginning of July, and is followed by the LANDac Annual Summer School, a two-week course on land governance. Read more about LANDac.

IOS Fair Transitions is a platform within the strategic theme Institutions for Open Societies (IOS) and aims to facilitate learning between different cultural contexts and continents across the globe. Scholars from Law and Economics, Humanities, Social Sciences, Natural Sciences and Geosciences, as well as other disciplines engage in interdisciplinary dialogue in order to explore clashes between scales (global sustainability vs national priority vs local well-being and individual freedom) and uneven and unintended impacts of ongoing sustainability transition efforts on various communities and ecologies that shape landscapes.Interested to join us, read more about Fair Transitions.


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Fair Transitions and the Politics of Land Institutions and imaginaries for inclusive futures