Press Release  ·  August 24, 2011

Global Land Grab: Terry J. Allen Reveals the “New Colonialism”

CHICAGO (August 24, 2011) - What connects major purchases of land in Ethiopia, global food shortages and the uprisings in Egypt? The answer can be found in a major new investigative report published by In These Times.

In “Global Land Grab,” Terry J. Allen documents how fear of unrest and hunger for profit are sparking massive acquisitions of land—at a rate unseen since the Colonial Era—in some of the world’s poorest countries.

Allen describes how record food price spikes have triggered global food crises that have pushed millions further into poverty (leading in turn to public protests in places like Tunisia and Egypt). As a result, cash-rich but land-poor nations like South Korea, China and Saudi Arabia have partnered with private investors to acquire giant tracts of farmland in Africa and South America to prevent domestic food shortages and the resulting unrest. This global land grab is done at the expense of the world’s poor and hungry:

After decades of promises and thousands of schemes, much of the world remains desperately malnourished. And now, as China, the United States and others jockey for land and power, the weight of shifting empires and changing climate is threatening to crush international cooperation on ending hunger.

Allen reports that the vast majority of these land grabs are taking place in sub-Saharan Africa, a region that is already facing extreme shortages of food and water. As a result, residents, generally herders and small farmers, are displaced:

As foreign investors pour in—from Arab princedoms, India, South Korea, China and other nations—hundreds of thousands of Ethiopians are being relocated.

Allen’s exposé—featured on the cover of In These Times’ September 2011 issue—provides a thoroughly researched and compellingly written exploration that delves deeply into this important, yet under-covered issue.

Terry J. Allen, an In These Times senior editor, has written the magazine’s monthly investigative health and science column since 2006, frequently including original reporting in her columns. A photojournalist and researcher who resides in Vermont, Allen’s work has appeared in numerous local, national and international outlets, including The Boston Globe, Harper’s, The Nation, The American Prospect, New Scientist, and Salon. She was senior researcher for the book The Impeachment of George W. Bush (2007), and contributed to the Sundance prize-winning documentary Trouble The Water (2008).

For more information or to coordinate an interview or on-air appearance with Terry Allen or In These Times editors, please contact Joe Macaré, Communications Director, at (773) 772-0100 ext. 240 or