Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 561917
Title Rethinking “development” : Land dispossession for the Rampal power plant in Bangladesh
Author(s) Mahmud, Muhammad Shifuddin; Roth, Dik; Warner, Jeroen
Source Land Use Policy 94 (2020). - ISSN 0264-8377
Department(s) Sociology of Development and Change
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2020
Keyword(s) Bangladesh - Development - Dispossession - Land control - Rampal power plant

In this article, we critically review the developmental claims made for the construction of the Rampal power plant in southwestern Bangladesh, in the light of evidence about transformations of land control related to this construction project. Land has become a heavily contested resource in the salinity-intruded southwestern coastal area of Bangladesh. Changes in land control for the construction of the Rampal power plant and similar projects have intensified decades of struggles over rights and access to land. The Rampal project is labelled as “development” and claims to contribute to the elimination of poverty. However, we find that, in reality, this project leads to a reorganization of land control, rights and access in ways that perpetuate and intensify waves of eviction and exclusion of small landholders and landless laborers, thus threatening agriculture-based rural livelihoods. We analyze how four actor groups involved in land control are differently affected by the project interventions, embedded in the context of historical land tenure developments. We find that the benefits of this “development”, primarily favoring rich and powerful social groups and investors, necessitates a critical rethinking of Bangladesh's development and its claims of poverty elimination in the light of related land control practices.

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