Fields of Gold
Financing the Global Land Rush
Cornell Series on Land: New Perspectives on Territory, Development, and Environment
Published by: Cornell University Press
234 pages, 152.00 x 229.00 mm, 5 b&w halftones, 1 b&w line drawing, 2 maps, 14 charts
- ISBN: 9781501750083
- Published: July 2020
Fields of Gold critically examines the history, ideas, and political struggles surrounding the financialization of farmland. In particular, Madeleine Fairbairn focuses on developments in two of the most popular investment locations, the US and Brazil, looking at the implications of financiers' acquisition of land and control over resources for rural livelihoods and economic justice.
At the heart of Fields of Gold is a tension between efforts to transform farmland into a new financial asset class, and land's physical and social properties, which frequently obstruct that transformation. But what makes the book unique among the growing body of work on the global land grab is Fairbairn's interest in those acquiring land, rather than those affected by land acquisitions. Fairbairn's work sheds ethnographic light on the actors and relationships—from Iowa to Manhattan to São Paulo—that have helped to turn land into an attractive financial asset class.
Thanks to generous funding from UC Santa Cruz, the ebook editions of this book are available as Open Access volumes from Cornell Open (cornellopen.org) and other repositories.
1. Farmland Investment Comes of Age
2. Farmland Values
3. Material Difficulties
4. Foreign Politics
"Fairbairn has written a superb and field-defining monograph. Fields of Gold is now the gold standard for scholarship on the financial drivers of transnational farmland investment. To cap off the achievement, Fairbairn writes in a clear and down-to-earth style that demystifies finance jargon and clearly conveys the significance of difficult theory for the lay reader."~Antipode
"In Fields of Gold, Madeleine Fairbairn presents a thoughtful, nuanced, and empirically rich account of the transformation of farmland into an increasingly sought-after investment opportunity. This is a very fine book and should be required reading for anyone who wants to better understand the farmland investment phenomenon."~The Journal of Peasant Studies
"As federal land policy specialists, we found this book incredibly insightful. The author concisely and clearly explains complicated financial concepts, deftly connecting the machinations of financial actors with their concrete, alarming consequences on the land and within our food system. She connects all this to policy, making the point that public policy is inextricably tied to the financialization of farmland and must be part of addressing this issue moving forward."~Food, Culture & Society
- CAPE Outstanding Publication Award
- Geographies of Food and Agriculture Specialty Book Group