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

The dynamics of land rights configuration in Tanzania

This paper analyses the configuration of land rights among different users of land at various levels of land administration. It discusses the implementation of Tanzania’s land policy reform. The key rights explored in the paper include the rights of both small-scale producers (farmers and pastoralists) and large-scale investors to agricultural...

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Zimbabwe’s recent political turmoil: The end of Mugabe?

Recent events in Zimbabwe have been extraordinary. Indeed, they have also been changing in a dramatic fashion. Like many other Zimbabweans in the diaspora, I have been glued to my computer since the military took control of the country on the 15th of November 2017, in order not to miss any of the unfolding events.