Welcome to PLAAS

PLAAS does research, policy engagement, teaching and training about the dynamics of chronic poverty and structural inequality in Southern Africa, with a particular emphasis on the key role of restructuring and contesting land holding and agro-food systems in the subcontinent and beyond. Our focus is on the analysis of marginalised livelihoods in Southern Africa, especially of subsistence and smallholder farmers and farm workers, of coastal and inland artisanal fisheries and fishing communities; and of informal self employment in rural and urban areas.

Research Areas


Our research covers diverse areas, ranging from land and tenure reform,  land investment and agro-food restructuring, fisheries and ecosystem management, to social protection and informal self employment. In all this work, our key focus is on the causes and dynamics of inequality and structural poverty, on the economic and social agency of poor...

Latest Publication

Researching Land & Commercial Agriculture in Sub-Saharan Africa - Gender Perspective

This paper offers critical reflections on the concepts, issues and methods that are important for integrating a gender perspective into mainstream research and policy-making on land and...


Africa’s Land Rush

Africa's land rush

A new book edited by Ian Scoones, together with Ruth Hall (from PLAAS at UWC, South Africa) and Dzodzi Tsikata (ISSER, University of Ghana at Legon) was recently launched.The author of this blog...