Dr. Oliveira published in Idéias

Dr. Oliveira’s article “The resistance to Chinese land grabs in Brazil since 2008: Lessons and agroecological alternatives” has just been published in a special issue on Brazil-China Relations in the journal Idéias.

ABSTRACT: The goal of this article is to describe and theorize the recent history of resistance to Chinese acquisitions of farmland in Brazil in order to enable a clear and useful discussion of the victories and challenges of the resistance to foreignization of land and the advancement of transnational and domestic agribusiness; and also to allow for the development of agroecological alternatives for Brazil-China relations. Employing theories of narratives in the articulation of social movements and methods of global ethnography, based upon 27 months of fieldwork in Brazil and China, I argue an alliance of convenience between certain agribusiness sectors and social movements were able to effectively dismantle the largest attempts at acquiring farmland by Chinese agribusinesses in Brazil. On the other hand, since these efforts maintained focus on direct acquisitions of farmland, this resistance was unable to affect the indirect incorporation of Brazilian land by Chinese agribusinesses that acquired operational companies in Brazil. Moreover, the role of Chinese capital in what has been called “foreignization of land” in Brazil has been relatively small. Therefore, I conclude that the strong focus on Chinese capital and on direct acquisitions of rural property did not target the main dynamics of foreignization of land, even if they effectively dismantled the main Chinese attempts to grab land in Brazil. Yet there are great opportunities for the development of agroecological initiatives between Brazil and China that could orient investments and partnerships in South-South solidarity, strengthening national and food sovereignty in both countries against the advancement of transnational agribusiness.

KEYWORDS: Brazil, China, foreignization of land, social movements, networks, narratives

Idéias is an interdisciplinary journal published by the Institute of Philosophy and Humanities of the University of Campinas (UNICAMP). It distinguishes itself among academic journals in Brazil for publishing cutting-edge research and interdisciplinary special issues on hotly debated current events, resulting in high-impact factors in the disciplines of humanities, urban and regional planning, law, philosophy, history, sociology, anthropology, and political science, among others.

For the full-length article (in Portuguese), see:


DOI: https://doi.org/10.20396/ideias.v9i2.8655285