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Associate Prof Ruth Hall, January 2011

Assoc Prof Ruth Hall

Associate Professor

+27-(0)21-959-3959

Research Focus:

Land rights and agrarian reform; land deals in Africa

Biography:

Associate Professor Ruth Hall joined PLAAS in 2002. She holds a DPhil in Politics from the University of Oxford, where she previously obtained an MPhil in Development Studies. Her doctoral work focused on the interests, actors and discourses that influenced the development of South African land reform policy. Key research interests that have shaped her work at PLAAS are: land tenure, restitution and redistribution, gender and development policy, and broad-based agricultural development. Her work has strongly emphasised the role of rights-based policy approaches to tenure for farm workers and other poor landholders.

Until recently, her work at PLAAS focussed on research and policy advice on land and agrarian reform within South Africa. In recent years, however, her focus has extended beyond South African land and agrarian policy to incorporate a more international perspective. Her main research now is on land rights and the future of food and farming in sub-Saharan Africa. She leads a five-country study on the politics and impacts of large-scale land acquisitions, and convenes a small grants programme of twenty smaller studies covering fourteen African countries.

From being relegated to the backwaters in international development agendas, agriculture and agricultural production have recently re-emerged as central concerns for policymakers, activists and researchers. The past five years have seen a marked rise in international private and public-sector investments in farmland, in Africa and elsewhere. Some critics have dubbed these large-scale leases of public and customary land as ‘land grabs’, which could have massive implications for food security in Africa, directly impacting on access to land for Africans and on Africa’s ability to benefit from food value chains. Ruth's research highlights how ‘overseas land investments’ could lead to an even greater concentration of power in the few agrofood multinationals, and underlines that it is essential that African realities and the local concerns of rural African farmers inform global policies.

Qualifications:

  • DPhil in Politics, University of Oxford
  • MPhil in Development Studies, University of Oxford
  • BSocSc (Hons) in Political Studies, University of Cape Town

Publications:

  1. Scoones I, Hall R, Borras Jr SM, White B & Wolford W (2013) 'The politics of evidence: methodologies for understanding the global land rush’, Journal of Peasant Studies 40(3): 469–483.
  2. Scoones I, Hall R, Borras Jr SM, White B & Wolford W (2013) ‘The politics of evidence: A response to Rulli and D'Odorico’, Journal of Peasant Studies 40(4).
  3. Wolford, W., Borras Jr, S.M., Hall, R., Scoones, I., White, B. (Eds.), 2013. Governing Global Land Deals: The Role of the State in the Rush for Land, in: Governing Global Land Deals: The Role of the State in the Rush for Land. Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Massachussets.
  4. Wolford, W., Borras, S.M., Hall, R., Scoones, I., White, B. (Eds.), 2013. Governing global land deals: the role of the state in the rush for land. Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Massachussets.
  5. Cousins B and Hall R (2013) ‘Rights without illusions: the potential and limits of rights-based approaches to securing land tenure in rural South Africa’ in Malcolm Langford, Ben Cousins, Jackie Dugard and Tshepo Madlingozi (eds.). Symbols or Substance? The role and impact of socio-economic rights strategies in South Africa. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  6. Hall R, Wisborg P, Shirinda S and Zamchiya P (2013) ‘Farm workers and farm dwellers in Limpopo Province, South Africa’ Journal of Agrarian Change 13(1): 47-70.
  7. Wolford W, Borras Jr SM, Hall R, Scoones I and White B (2013) ‘Governing global land deals: The role of the state in the rush for land’ (Editors’ introduction to special issue on Governing Global Land Deals), Development and Change 44(2): 189-210.
  8. Hall R (2012) ‘Hierarchies, violence, gender: Narratives from Zimbabwean migrants on South African farms’ in Bill Derman and Randi Kaarhus (eds) In the Shadow of a Conflict: Crisis in Zimbabwe and its Effects in Mozambique, South Africa and Zambia. Harare: Weaver Press.
  9. Aliber M and Hall R 2012. ‘Support for smallholder farmers in South Africa: Challenges of scale and strategy’,Development Southern Africa (Special Issue: Sustainable rural development in South Africa: Rethinking theory, policy and practice) 29 (4): 548–562.
  10. Hall R (2012) ' The next Great Trek? South African commercial farmers move north,' Journal of Peasant Studies 39(3-4): 823–843.
  11. Hall R (2012) ‘El nuevo acaparamiento de tierras y las cambiantes dinámicas de la agricultura en el sur de África’, Revista Española de Estudios Agrosociales y Pesqueros 231: 175–207.
  12. White B, Borras Jr SM, Hall R, Scoones I and Wolford W (eds) (2012) The New Enclosures: Critical Perspectives on Corporate Land Deals. Oxon: Routledge.
  13. White B, Borras Jr SM, Hall R, Scoones I and Wolford W (2012) ‘The new enclosures: Critical perspectives on corporate land deals’, Journal of Peasant Studies (editors’ introduction to special issue) 39 (3&4): 619–647.
  14. Borras Jr, S.M. et al., 2011. Towards a better understanding of global land grabbing: an editorial introduction. The Journal of Peasant Studies, 38(2), pp.209-216.
  15. Hall R (2011) 'The next great trek? South African commercial farmers move north', Working Paper 19.  PLAAS, UWC: Bellville.
  16. Hall, R. & Paradza, G., 2011. Pressures on land in sub-Saharan Africa: Social differentiation and societal responses, Brussels: Overseas Development Institute, Deutsches Institut für  Entwicklungspolitik, European Centre for Development Policy Management.
  17. Hall, R., 2011. Landmarked: Land Claims and Land Restitution in South Africa–By Cherryl Walker. Journal of Agrarian Change, 11(1), pp.126-129.
  18. Hall, R., 2011. Land grabbing in southern Africa: the many faces of the investor rush. Review of African Political Economy, 38(128), pp.193-214.
  19. Hall, R., 2011. Revisiting unresolved questions: land, food and agriculture. Transformation, (75).
  20. Hall, R., 2011. The many faces of the investor rush in Southern Africa: towards a typology of commercial land deals, Initiatives in Critical Agrarian Studies (ICAS), Land Deal Politics  Initiative (LDPI) and Transnational Institute (TNI).
  21. Hall, R., 2011. The Next Great Trek? South African commercial farmers move north. In International Conference on Global Land Grabbing, Sussex, 6-8 April 2011. Land Deal Politics Initiative, p. 8.
  22. Cousins, B. & Hall, R., 2011. 'Rights without illusions: The potential and limits of rights-based approaches to securing land tenure in South Africa', Working Paper 18. PLAAS, UWC: Bellville.
  23. Hall, R. 2010. 'The Politics of Land Reform in Post-Apartheid South Africa, 1990-2004: A shifting terrain of power, actors and discourses', DPhil Thesis. University of Oxford: Oxford.
  24. Hall, R. & Aliber, M., 2010. The Case for Re-Strategising Spending Priorities to Support Small-Scale Farmers in South Africa. In L. Nyagah, ed. Seeds for Growth: Financing smallholder farming in southern Africa. Cape Town: IDASA, pp. 53-71.
  25. Aliber, M. & Hall, R., 2010. Development of Evidence‐Based Policy Around Small‐Scale Farming, Pretoria: Programme to Support Pro-Poor Policy Development.
  26. Walker, C., Bohlin, A. & Hall, R., (eds) 2010. Land, memory, reconstruction, and justice: perspectives on land claims in South Africa, Ohio Univ Ctr for Intl Studies.
  27. Hall, R., 2010. Reconciling the past, present, and future: The parameters and practices of land restitution in South Africa. In C. Walker et al., eds. Land, Memory, Reconstruction, and Justice: Perspectives on Land Claims in South Africa. Ohio: Ohio University Press, pp. 17-41.
  28. Hall, R., 2010. Two cycles of land policy in South Africa: Tracing the contours. In W. Anseeuw & C. Alden, eds. The Struggle over Land in Africa: Conflicts, Politics and Change. HSRC Press, pp. 175-192.
  29. Andrews, M., Zamchiya, P. & Hall, R., 2009. 'Piloting alternatives in the Breede River Winelands', In Ruth Hall, ed. Another Countryside. Cape Town: Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies, p. 164.
  30. Hall, R., 2007. Land demand, targeting and acquisition in South Africa’s Land Reform. In Another Countryside: Policy Options for Land and Agrarian Reform, Somerset West, 24-25 October. Cape Town: Programme for Land and Agrarian Studies.
  31. Hall, R., 2007. Land Use and Livelihoods in South Africa’s Land Reform. In Another Countryside: Policy Options for Land and Agrarian Reform, Somerset West, 24-25 October. Cape Town: Programme for Land and Agrarian Studies.
  32. Hall, R., 2009. Land reform in South Africa: Successes, challenges and concrete proposals for the way forward. In M.T. Gwanya et al, eds. Land Reform in South Africa: Constructive Aims and Positive Outcomes – Reflecting on Experiences on the Way to 2014, 26-27 August 2008. Pretoria: Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, p. 5.
  33. Jara, M. & Hall, R., 2009. What are the political parameters? In Ruth Hall, ed. Another Countryside. Cape Town: Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies, p. 206.
  34. Hall, R., 2009. 'A fresh start for rural development and agrarian reform?', Policy Brief 29. Cape Town: Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies.
  35. Hall, R & Cliffe, L., 2009. 'Introduction', Another Countryside: Policy Options for Land and Agrarian Reform in South Africa, Cape Town: Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies, pp. 1-19.
  36. Hall, R., 2009. Dynamics in the commercial farming sector. In Ruth Hall, ed. Another Countryside. Cape Town: Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies, p. 120-131.
  37. Hall, R., 2009. 'Land reform for what use? Land use, production and livelihoods', In Ruth Hall, ed. Another Countryside. Cape Town: Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies, p. 22-59.
  38. Hall, R., 2009. 'Land reform how, and for whom? Land demand targeting and acquisition',  In Ruth Hall, ed. Another Countryside. Cape Town: Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies, p. 62-91.
  39. Hall, R. ed., 2009. Another countryside?: Policy options for land and agrarian reform in South Africa. Cape Town: Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies.
  40. Hall, R., 2008. Rural Livelihoods and Land. In A. Ndinga-Muvumba & R. Pharoah, eds. HIV/AIDS and society in South Africa. Cape Town: Centre for Conflict Resolution, p. 125.
  41. Rother, H.A., Hall, R. & London, L., 2008. Pesticide use among emerging farmers in South Africa: contributing factors and stakeholder perspectives. Development Southern Africa, 25(4), pp.399-424.
  42. Hall, R., 2007. 'The impact of land restitution and land reform on livelihoods,' Research Report 32. Cape Town: Programme for Land and Agrarian Studies.
  43. Hall, R., 2007. Transforming rural South Africa? Taking stock of land reform. In Lungisile Ntsebeza & Ruth Hall, eds. The land question in South Africa: the challenge of transformation and redistribution. Pretoria: HSRC Press, pp. 87-106.
  44. Ntsebeza, L. & Hall, R. eds., 2007. The land question in South Africa: The challenge of transformation and redistribution, Pretoria: Human Sciences Research Council.
  45. Hall, R., Isaacs, M. & Saruchera, M., 2007. 'Land and agrarian reform in integrated development plans (IDPs),' Research Report 23. Cape Town: Programme for Land and Agrarian Studies.
  46. Hall, R., 2005. The Shifting Terrain of Land Reform in South Africa: The National Land Summit, July 2005. Review of African Political Economy, 32(106), pp.621-627.
  47. London, L. Ngowi, A.V.N., Perry, M., Rother, H.A., Cairncross, E., Solomon, A., Du Toit, A., Hall, R., Ajayi, O., 2005. Health and Economic Consequences of Pesticide Use: the Experience of the Heed Programme on Pesticides in Southern Africa. Epidemiology, 16(5), p.S29.
  48. Hall, R. & Lahiff, E., 2004. 'Budgeting for land reform', Policy Brief 13. Cape Town: Programme for Land and Agrarian Studies.
  49. Hall, R., 2004. 'Land and agrarian reform in South Africa: A status report 2004', Research Report 20. Cape Town: Programme for Land and Agrarian Studies.
  50. Hall, R., 2004. Land restitution in South Africa: Rights, development, and the restrained state. Canadian Journal of African Studies, 38(3), pp.654-671.
  51. Ahmed, A. et al., 2003. Monitoring and evaluating the quality of life of land reform beneficiaries: 2000/2001. Pretoria: Department of Land Affairs.
  52. Jacobs, P., Lahiff, E. & Hall, R., 2003. 'Land redistribution', Evaluating Land and Agrarian Reform in South Africa (ELARSA Occasional Paper 1. Cape Town: Programme for Land and Agrarian Studies.
  53. Hall, R., Jacobs, P. & Lahiff, E., 2003. 'Final Report', ELARSA Occasional Paper 10. Cape Town: Programme for Land and Agrarian Studies.
  54. Hall, R. & Williams, G., 2003. Land reform: the South African case. In M. L. Baregu & C. Landsberg, eds. From Cape to Congo: Southern Africa’s evolving security challenges. Colorado: Lynne Rienner Publishers, pp. 97-130.
  55. Hall, R., 2003. A comparative analysis of land reform in South Africa and Zimbabwe. In M. C. Lee & K. Colvard, eds. Unfinished Business: The land crisis in Southern Africa. Pretoria: Africa Institute of Southern Africa.
  56. Hall, R., 2003. 'Farm tenure', ELARSA Occasional Paper 3. Cape Town: Programme for Land and Agrarian Studies.
  57. Hall, R., 2003. 'Rural restitution', ELARSA Occasional Paper 2. Cape Town: Programme for Land and Agrarian Studies.
  58. Hall, R., Kleinbooi, K. & Mvambo, N., 2001. What land reform has meant and could mean to farm workers in South Africa. Theme: Farm Workers and Land Reform in Southern Africa. In SARPN conference on Land Reform and Poverty Alleviation in Southern Africa, Pretoria, 4-5 June 2001. Cape Town: Centre for Rural Legal Studies.
  59. Hall, Ruth, 2001. Farm workers versus the world market. Agenda, 16(48), pp.98-100.
  60. Hall, R., 1998. Design for equity: linking policy with objectives in South Africa’s land reform. Review of African Political Economy, 25(77), pp.451-462.
  61. Hall, R., 1998. Contested Terrain: The Politics of Land Reform in Post-Apartheid South Africa. MPhil Thesis in Development Studies. Oxford: University of Oxford.
  62. Hall, R., 1998. Design for Equity: Linking Objectives with Practice in Land Reform. In Proceedings of the International Conference on Land Tenure in the Developing World, Cape Town, 27 - 29 January 1998. Land Tenure in the Developing World. Oxford, pp. 349-364.