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Article
Publication date: 13 April 2015

Stuart Hodkinson and Chris Essen

This paper aims to ground Harvey’s (2003) top-down theory of “accumulation by dispossession” in the everyday lives of people and places with specific focus on the role of…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to ground Harvey’s (2003) top-down theory of “accumulation by dispossession” in the everyday lives of people and places with specific focus on the role of law. It does this by drawing upon the lived experiences of residents on a public housing estate in England (UK) undergoing regeneration and gentrification through the Private Finance Initiative (PFI).

Design/methodology/approach

Members of the residents association on the Myatts Field North estate, London, were engaged as action research partners, working with the researchers to collect empirical data through surveys of their neighbours, organising community events and being formally interviewed themselves. Their experiential knowledge was supplemented with an extensive review of all associated policy, planning, legal and contractual documentation, some of which was disclosed in response to requests made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

Findings

Three specific forms of place-based dispossession were identified: the loss of consumer rights, the forcible acquisition of homes and the erasure of place identity through the estate’s rebranding. Layard’s (2010) concept of the “law of place” was shown to be broadly applicable in capturing how legal frameworks assist in enacting accumulation by dispossession in people’s lives. Equally important is the ideological power of law as a discursive practice that ultimately undermines resistance to apparent injustices.

Originality/value

This paper develops Harvey’s concept of accumulation by dispossession in conversation with legal geography scholarship. It shows – via the Myatts Field North estate case study – how PFI, as a mechanism of accumulation by dispossession in the abstract, enacts dispossession in the concrete, assisted by the place-making and ideological power of law.

Details

International Journal of Law in the Built Environment, vol. 7 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1756-1450

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 22 November 2014

Helene Cherrier, Meltem Türe and Nil Özçağlar-Toulouse

Based on Latour’s view that humans and non-humans swap properties, this paper explores whether objects embody similar properties as human beings and whether these…

Abstract

Purpose

Based on Latour’s view that humans and non-humans swap properties, this paper explores whether objects embody similar properties as human beings and whether these properties per se orient dispossession practices.

Methodology/approach

This study adopts Latour’s pragmatogonies as a theoretical perspective to explore the complex interplay between humans and non-humans in the context of dispossession. Thirty-two in-depth interviews focus on the object itself (its characteristics, qualities, and capacities in association with its endo and exo relations) to understand how objects act on dispossession.

Findings

The results depict objects as consisting of various material elements and possessing symmetrical properties as humans to facilitate, hinder, and channel dispossession. Objects emerge as having genealogies, undergoing physical changes, adapting to misfortunes, and having citizenship duties.

Research Limitations/implications

Our analyses reveal a complex network of people and things; all acting in the course of dispossession. We call for further research on object–subject networks/assemblages as dynamic and co-productive. We suggest that research focus should be on what objects might become or how they connect and evolve as they deteriorate, shift, and renew in interaction with their environment.

Originality/value of paper

Our study challenges the dichotomy between material objects and human beings. We underline that objects are not ephemeral and transient but they are moving and circulating as they deteriorate, transform, enact new roles, and construct evolving identities.

Details

Consumer Culture Theory
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78441-158-9

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 13 December 2018

William Sacher Freslon and Paul Cooney

This paper examines the current tendencies associated with transnational mining capital in the context of the current period of neoliberal globalization dominated by…

Abstract

This paper examines the current tendencies associated with transnational mining capital in the context of the current period of neoliberal globalization dominated by transnational corporations, and examines the usefulness of the category accumulation by dispossession, Harvey’s adapted version of Marx’s original accumulation. After a review of the original concept by Marx an evaluation of Harvey’s concept is presented. The current state of affairs in the mining industry is examined, in particular, considering the present level of large scale mining or mega-mining. In addition, this paper examines the associated social conflicts addressing the social and environmental impacts, which have resulted from these recent tendencies, not to mention the problems of increased use of corporate management of social resistance, and repression, on the part of the State, especially with regards to the criminalization of social protest. Moreover, the tendency toward reprimarization in several countries is considered and the degree to which this coincides with ongoing expropriation by the State is addressed, followed by an assessment of the relevance of the concept of accumulation by dispossession in the present day.

Details

Environmental Impacts of Transnational Corporations in the Global South
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78756-034-5

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 11 November 2015

Paul K. Gellert

Placing expansion of oil palm plantations in Indonesia in the context of the global land grab, this paper analyzes the contemporary extent and early historical periods of…

Abstract

Purpose

Placing expansion of oil palm plantations in Indonesia in the context of the global land grab, this paper analyzes the contemporary extent and early historical periods of plantation expansion via the theory of accumulation by dispossession (ABD).

Methodology/approach

After reviewing the empirical debate about the land grab, this paper examines the importance of ABD to understand the land grabs in general and for oil palm plantations in Indonesia in particular. Rather than a new phenomenon of the last four decades of neoliberalism, ABD has a history of several centuries.

Findings

Accumulation by dispossession (ABD) is a powerful and appropriate lens by which to understand the land conversion and social displacement occurring in Indonesia. Building on historical understanding of ABD, this paper applies the theory to the Indonesian oil palm case, making the case that the multiple and uncertain sequences of engagement with oil palm expansion are reflective of a broader struggle against dispossession.

Originality/value

ABD is not just a global financial process of corporate-led neoliberalization but also shaped importantly by domestic state and local elites. These elites have shaped ABD differently in colonial, authoritarian, and neoliberal periods.

Details

States and Citizens: Accommodation, Facilitation and Resistance to Globalization
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-180-4

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 4 August 2022

Ian Bethell-Bennett

The chapter explores how tourism creates even more dependence as spaces become gentrified and too expensive for local occupation through colonial tropes, and accumulation…

Abstract

The chapter explores how tourism creates even more dependence as spaces become gentrified and too expensive for local occupation through colonial tropes, and accumulation models. Tourism consumes gently. In the wake of Hurricanes Irma, Maria, and Dorian, The Bahamas and Puerto Rico have experienced an accelerated strike on their natural and social resources: from land deals and tax concessions to power infrastructure and school closures. Debt has plagued the countries; the policies designed to get them out of debt prior to the natural disasters, then converted into man-made disasters, have only deepened dependence and indebtedness. In fact, both have become externalized communities where land is being accumulated through dispossession. Tourism is more than just hotels and resorts; it is now the gated communities and private islands that build on coloniality and inequalities. Tourism, disaster capitalism, and green grabbing accumulate by dispossessing locals of land in the name of improving their economic health. Economic well being seems to result in loss.

Details

Pandemics, Disasters, Sustainability, Tourism
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80382-105-4

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 August 2000

Kathy Gibson

While the physical dispossession of Aboriginal Australians since European settlement has been well documented, a more insidious role, which has been played stealthily and…

3524

Abstract

While the physical dispossession of Aboriginal Australians since European settlement has been well documented, a more insidious role, which has been played stealthily and with little publicity, is that played by accounting practices. Through their contribution to the displacement of social values by economic imperatives, measured by yardsticks such as profitability and financial accountability, these practices have acted to continue the dispossession process. Accounting concepts are examined in the light of a hunter‐gatherer social economy and the unsuitability of modern accounting to provide for a social accountability is highlighted. Examples show that the meaning of today’s accounting concepts is in many instances directly opposed to the understanding of those concepts in traditional Aboriginal societies. More important, perhaps, are the effects of currently popular beliefs that dispossession and injustice are historical, and have been remedied by government and social initiatives. Contrary to this perception, it will be shown that in many cases attitudes remain that hold Aboriginal organisations to a higher level of accountability than other government‐funded bodies. These accountability hurdles, that effectively restrict access to resources, are simply a less overt continuation of the processes of dispossession.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 13 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 March 2017

Jennifer L. Eagan

Using Marcuse and the 2008 economic crisis as a starting point, this work proposes a feminist critical theory for public administration that could inform how public…

Abstract

Using Marcuse and the 2008 economic crisis as a starting point, this work proposes a feminist critical theory for public administration that could inform how public administrationists can see themselves as defenders of human values against a status quo which favors masculine and market forces. Through an exploration of Marcuse's concepts of one-dimentionality, foreclosure, masculinization, and feminist socialism, this work asserts the need for a feminist critical theory for public administration theory and praxis that responds to current social injustices and explores a more complex analysis of the subject as subjugated and dispossessed. The conclusion proposes some directions that such a theory might take in the future.

Details

International Journal of Organization Theory & Behavior, vol. 17 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1093-4537

Book part
Publication date: 17 November 2005

Philip McMichael

The corporate food regime is presented here as a vector of the project of global development. As such, it expresses not only the social and ecological contradictions of…

Abstract

The corporate food regime is presented here as a vector of the project of global development. As such, it expresses not only the social and ecological contradictions of capitalism, but also the world-historical conjuncture in which the deployment of price and credit relations are key mechanisms of ‘accumulation through dispossession.’ The global displacement of peasant cultures of provision by dumping, the supermarket revolution, and conversion of land for agro-exports, incubate ‘food sovereignty’ movements expressing alternative relationships to the land, farming and food.

Details

New Directions in the Sociology of Global Development
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-373-0

Book part
Publication date: 12 November 2018

Andreas Neef, Monsinee Attavanich, Preeda Kongpan and Maitree Jongkraichak

The 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami had a deep and long-term impact on communities along Thailand’s Andaman Coast. In this chapter, the authors examine how three communities of…

Abstract

The 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami had a deep and long-term impact on communities along Thailand’s Andaman Coast. In this chapter, the authors examine how three communities of indigenous, formerly seafaring people (chao leh) have been affected by post-tsunami tourism developments. Taking Devine and Ojeda’s (2017) concept of ‘violent tourism geographies’ as a theoretical lens, the authors analyse various practices of dispossession, including enclosure, extraction, erasure, commodification, destructive creation and neo-colonialism. The findings of this chapter suggest that all three communities found themselves subjected to radical transformations of their socioeconomic and cultural environment, yet in distinctive ways and with varying degrees of agency.

Details

The Tourism–Disaster–Conflict Nexus
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78743-100-3

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 10 May 2011

Jose Luis Rocha, Ed Brown and Jonathan Cloke

The concept of corruption is frequently represented as relating to social practices that violate established rules and norms. This paper, however, seeks to demonstrate…

1284

Abstract

Purpose

The concept of corruption is frequently represented as relating to social practices that violate established rules and norms. This paper, however, seeks to demonstrate that corrupt practices are often only possible because they in fact draw on existing institutional mechanisms and cultural dispositions that grant them a certain social approval and legitimacy. The paper aims to explore these issues through a detailed exploration of corruption in Nicaragua, which outlines how competing élite groups have been able to use different discourses to appropriate resources from the state in quite different ways, reflecting the use of contrasting mechanisms for justifying and legitimizing corruption.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper focuses on two key periods of recent Nicaraguan political history: that which occurred during the administration of ex‐President Arnoldo Alemán and the events that unfurled in the aftermath of a chain of bank bankruptcies that occurred in Nicaragua during 2001. These events are explored in the context of David Harvey's ideas of “accumulation by dispossession.”

Findings

In contrast with more classic practices of corruption in Nicaragua that have openly violated existing formal rules and norms but appealed to an ethos of redistribution and a historically‐specific concept of “the public” in order to imbue their actions with legitimacy, the corrupt practices related to recent banking bankruptcies engaged in an extensive instrumentalization of formal state institutions in order to protect élite parochial interests and to achieve “accumulation by dispossession” through appealing to the legitimating support granted by multilateral financial institutions.

Originality/value

The paper illustrates sharply the inadvisability of perspectives that narrowly define corruption in legalistic terms. Such perspectives focus exclusively on the state as the location of corruption, whereas clearly, in Nicaragua as elsewhere, corruption is a far more complicated phenomenon which crosses the artificial boundaries between private and public sectors. It also evolves and takes a myriad different forms which are intimately connected with the ongoing struggles for control of accumulation processes, suggesting a much more integral role for corruption within accumulation strategies than often allowed for in both orthodox economic and Marxist literatures on capital accumulation.

Details

Critical perspectives on international business, vol. 7 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1742-2043

Keywords

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