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Dublin City University, University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh and Wageningen University | Call for Abstracts

The joint initiative by Dublin City University, University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh and Wageningen University and Research on “Power and Politics in Land Administration Reform”, funded by the European Union’s Jean Monnet scheme has a call for abstracts. The objective is to convene a research cluster focusing on this crucial area, with the view to publishing a special issue in a leading peer-review journal. 

Despite a number of welcome developments in recent years, including the emergence of “continuum of land rights” approaches, significant gaps remain between the findings of an increasingly critical scientific literature on land administration reform, and land administration as a public policy domain. In order to address some of these gaps, they are keen to hear from anyone who’s research relates to the broad themes listed below. Securing contributions from a diverse range of geographical settings is a high priority. 

  • The diversity of ways in which “legalisation” and “formalisation” processes are mediated by political and social relationships that exist within often extreme asymmetries of power.
  • The opportunities such processes provide for facilitating rather than preventing disenfranchisement and dispossession through processes like land grabbing.
  • Modalities by which such processes intersect with and impact upon disparities based on gender, ethnicity and religious minority status.
  • How the political-administrative compartmentalisation of “land administration” relates to the oft-stated aspirations of such processes to achieve equitable and pro-poor outcomes, for example national inheritance legislation and the relationship of natural resources like forests and water bodies to “land administration”.The impact of state foreign and security policy on land acquisitions.
  • How the European Union’s Global Strategy and development policy relate to these issues. 

Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, the project plan included a two-day event, to be held in Dhaka on or around the 26th and 27th of February 2021. While this remains their aspiration, this is now obviously subject to change depending on how the pandemic progresses. Anyone can register their interest for further updates by sending an email to

Potential participants are asked to submit abstracts of no more than 500 words to the same email address by the 31st August. On the basis of submitted abstracts, participants will be invited to join a “working group”, that will convene remotely by the first week of October. Working/background papers will be circulated among the group by early December. 

These papers will form the basis of a two-day working session, in principle to be held as a physical conference in Dhaka. There is a modest budget available to support travel and accommodation expenses. In the event that continuing Covid prevalence makes this option unworkable, remote arrangements will be organised, potentially involving more flexible timings to take time differences into account.      

The aim will be to have an agreed framework for the special issue by the end of the working session, as well as an agreed target journal. While all are welcome to engage with this initiative, it may be of particular interest to early career researchers. For further information please contact Dr Oliver Scanlan at the Center for Sustainable Development, University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh, at