ECPR Workshop on Exposing the Deep Politics of Land: Conceptual Contestations in Land Debates (25-28 March 2024)

Dear Colleagues,

I am calling for papers for a European Consortium for Political Research (ECPR) virtual workshop on Exposing the Deep Politics of Land: Conceptual Contestations in Land Debates. The workshop will examine the role of political concepts in shaping institutions of land governance and ownership. The aim is to trace the influence of seemingly abstract concepts on the policies and practices that determine how land is owned, used, conserved, taxed and developed. The main objective is to expose the assumptions and biases that are encoded in these concepts to better understand their role in framing problems and solutions to pressing and contested political problems relating to land. These include: how to best use, manage, distribute and protect our land for current and future generations of humans and more-than-humans.  

The intention is to hopefully bring scholars from various land-related disciplines (broadly defined) together with political scientists to explore how political concepts and their contested meanings are embedded in policy design and the institutions that shape land policy and development outcomes. Further details are here.

The virtual workshop will be part of the ECPR Joint Sessions of Workshops 2024, taking place 25-28 March 2024. The Joint Sessions are a fantastic opportunity to discuss ongoing work and to get thorough and thoughtful feedback on draft papers from scholars at various stages of career development. They are also a good way to expand professional networks and identify opportunities for collaboration.

If this sounds of interest, do please submit a paper proposal by 23 November. Some potential questions and themes that the workshop could cover are below the body of this message. However, I would welcome any proposals that broadly respond to the aims of the workshop.

Further details regarding submitting a paper proposal and subsequent timelines are here.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Best wishes,



Possible Questions

1: What forms of analysis are appropriate to the study of political concepts in public policy, including land policy?

2: What theories are appropriate to the study of political concepts in shaping political action in relation to land?

3: What role does conceptual history play in contemporary understandings of key questions in land policy?

4: What political concepts are of importance to the framing of key questions in contemporary land policy and why?

5: How are the meanings of concepts core to key questions in contemporary land policy evolving and to what effect?

Possible Themes

1: The relationship between concepts of land ownership and environmental and development outcomes.

2: The competing ideologies of property in land and its forms of ownership.

3: Conceptual differences in international comparisons of institutions of land governance.

4: The relationship between land ownership and environmental outcomes via the development process.

5: Decolonisation of property theory and its implications for land policy.

6: The ideologies of land policy.

7: How mainstream land policy discourse can act to de-politicise the land question.

8: The role of political concepts in constructions of the housing crisis.