Claim-making in transnational land deals: Discourses of legitimation and stakeholder relations in central Uganda

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Land relations and contestation over land control in Uganda are deeply embedded in socio-historical struggles for legitimacy, identity, and belonging. While contemporary processes of land governance reform attempt to address increasing pressures on land with technocratic, administrative, and legal solutions, these approaches fail to take into consideration stakeholder dynamics underlying land claims. Within the context of rising volumes of transnational land acquisitions and corresponding increase in land-related conflicts, this research investigates the processes by which various actors seek to legitimise their claims over land at the local level. Drawing on empirical research into four transnational land deals in central Uganda, we examine everyday practices of claimmaking through the study of discursive legitimation and stakeholder interactions. Land deals are thus conceptualised as ‘zones of intermediality’ where various claims are mediated at the intersection between references, practices, and discourses of local and external actors. We conclude that understanding patterns of stakeholder discourses and dynamics of interaction can provide critical insights into the role of claim-making in shaping practices and outcomes of land access and control.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)125-134
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Central Uganda
  • Claim-making
  • Stakeholder relations
  • Transnational land deals
  • Zones of intermediality


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