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

Institutions and Co-Management in East African Inland and Malawi Fisheries

Institutions matter within natural resource management. While there are many examples of analyses of the nature and influence of institutions within fisheries, there are fewer examples of how...

Upcoming Events

Investigating the ‘Green Land Grab’ by Lake Albert Safaris Ltd in Apaa Village, Amuru District, Northern Uganda

Farmland in stable and conflict affected countries has in recent times come under immense pressure from large-scale commercial investments. The emerging enclosures are creating ‘losers’ and ‘winners...


Mmusi Maimane's Sona 2015 Response Fact-Checked

In his response to the State of the Nation Address, Democratic Alliance parliamentary leader Mmusi Maimane made a number of claims about electricity, employment, land reform and crime. This...