Contest for Land in Madagascar

Environment, Ancestors and Development


The Malagasy possess a profound religious, socio-political and economic attachment to land which connects individuals and kinship groups with the ancestors. International stakeholders value Madagascar for its biodiversity, minerals and agricultural potential, while the Malagasy state views land as the necessary platform for its economic development. This collection presents original research by established and rising scholars across a broad spectrum of disciplines, including Human Genetics, Anthropology and History. Authors focus on land as the pivotal factor underlying the economic, social and religious structures of Malagasy society and its relationship with outsiders, aiming to provide new insights into the issues underlying Madagascar’s ongoing economic and political malaise.

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Sandra J.T.M. Evers is associate professor in Anthropology at VU University Amsterdam. Her research and publications deal with migration, slavery and cultural transmission in Madagascar within the context of globalisation, natural resource management, poverty and sustainable development. Dr Evers directs a research programme on foreign large-scale land acquisitions in Africa and Madagascar.

Gwyn Campbell, Canada Research Chair in Indian Ocean World History at McGill University, was born in Madagascar and is the author and editor of many works, including An Economic History of Imperial Madagascar (Cambridge, 2005) and David Griffiths and the Missionary “History of Madagascar” (Brill, 2012).

Michael Lambek is Professor of Anthropology and Canada Research Chair at the University of Toronto, Scarborough. His books include Knowledge and Practice in Mayotte (Toronto 1993) and The Weight of the Past: Living with History in Mahajanga, Madagacar (Palgrave Macmillan 2002).

List of Illustrations
List of Contributors

Introduction: Land Competition and Human-Environment Relations in Madagascar
Sandra J.T.M. Evers, Gwyn Campbell and Michael Lambek

The Genetic Trail to Madagascar
Himla Soodyall, Bharti Morar and Trefor Jenkins

Don’t we all Want a World Filled with “Bright Faces” and “Fat-Cheeked Babies”?
Creating the State and Crafting Ideology in Eighteenth Century Imerina
Victor Raharijaona and Susan Kus

Forest Depletion in Imperial Madagascar, c.1790–1861 � 63
Gwyn Campbell

Solving Madagascar: Science, Illustrations, and the Normalizing of Fauna of Nineteenth Century Madagascar
Tom Anderson

Lex Loci meets Lex Fori: Merging Customary Law and National Land Legislation in Madagascar
Sandra J.T.M. Evers

Land Rights and Alien Plants in Dryland Madagascar
Karen Middleton

Parenting through Boom and Bust in a Northern Malagasy Mining Town
Andrew Walsh

Discourse, Development and Legitimacy: Nature/Culture Dualism of Mining Engagements in
Biodiversity Offsetting and Conservation in Madagascar
Caroline Seagle

How the Daewoo Attempted Land Acquisition Contributed to Madagascar’ Political Crisis in 2009
Venusia Vinciguerra

Students and scholars interested in human-environment relations, development issues, natural resource management, land titling, mining and conservation.
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