Land reforms and peasant rebellions in world history, 18th-21st centuries

Country: Portugal

City: Lisbon

Abstr. due: 15.04.2015

Dates: 27.06.16 — 30.01.16

Area Of Sciences: History and archeology;

Organizing comittee e-mail:

Organizers: Ghent University


The impact of state induced land reforms in the last few centuries on agriculture, land use and peasant societies cannot be overstated. The central aim of land reform programs is the modification or replacement of existing institutional arrangements governing the possession and use of land, and to alter its property redistribution. These reforms can go different ways, from the transfer of ownership from large (individual or collective) land owners to smallholders, to the transfer of land from individual ownership to government-owned collective farms. Either way, any revision or reform of regional or national land laws is an intensely political process, changing the relationships within and between rural communities, as well as between communities and the state. In this session we aim to develop a global and comparative perspective on a/ different endeavours of state controlled land reforms in the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries, and b/ the way rural societies and peasant communities have reacted to this drastic interference in land-labour relations. Guiding questions include: Who introduces and executes the land reform programs; how are they implemented; what is the scale and the economic (agriculture), social (rural societies), ecological (land use) impact; why do they succeed or fail? How are regional/national schemes of land reform related; what are practical and ideological linkages? How did rural communities and peasant societies react towards programs of land reform? Which repertoire of actions did they develop, and how successful were they?

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