SOAS University of London

Department of Development Studies

The New Enclosure and Beyond: Neoliberalism and the Privatisation of Land

Professor Brett Christophers (Uppsala University, Sweden)

Date: 25 February 2020Time: 5:00 PM

Finishes: 25 February 2020Time: 7:00 PM

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings Room: Djam Lecture Theatre (DLT)

Type of Event: Seminar

In my 2018 book The New Enclosure, I examined the UK privatisation that previously nobody knew about: the privatisation of public land. Since the beginning of the 1980s, land equating to roughly 10 percent of Britain by area and worth in today’s prices somewhere in the region of £400 billion has been sold by the state – on dubious grounds and with calamitous consequences. In this talk, I will recap the main arguments of the book. But I will also endeavor to peer beyond the particular place (Britain) and time (the past 40 years) with which the book is preoccupied: to other parts of the world, where land is also being widely privatised, or where its potential privatisation is frequently mooted; and to the future, which, more than anything else, will be the age of climate change, an issue that it is impossible to think meaningfully about except in relation to land, its use, and its ownership.

Brett Christophers is Professor of Human Geography at Uppsala University, Sweden, and the author of several books. Rentier Capitalism is forthcoming with Verso in 2020.

Organiser: Feyzi Ismail (