Accountability in Africa's Land Rush: What Role for Legal Empowerment

"This report assesses the state of evidence on pathways to accountability in the global land rush, with a focus on Africa, and identifies areas for a new research agenda that places accountability at its centre. The report takes a twin-track approach of exploring how the legal frameworks regulating the land rush shape opportunities and constraints in formal pathways to accountability; and how people who feel wronged by land deals are responding to seek justice. These two perspectives broadly reflect the complementarity and convergence of two common ways of conceptualising accountability: ‘accountability as rights’, which focuses on the substantive rights and transparency of process established by legal and regulatory frameworks, and ‘accountability as power’, which emphasises the importance of citizen action, power and politics in public accountability. The report draws on an analysis of legal frameworks relating to 12 African countries, and on a review of 16 cases of LSLAs for which citizen responses were most extensively documented in the literature."