By Jeremy M. Campbell
University of Washington Press, 2015
Conjuring Property: Speculation and Environmental Futures in the Brazilian Amazon is winner of the 2017 James M. Blaut Award from the Cultural and Political Ecology Specialty Group of the Association of American Geographers, and Honorable Mention for the 2016 Book Prize from the Association for Political and Legal Anthropology.
Since the 1960s, when Brazil first encouraged large-scale Amazonian colonization, violence and confusion have often accompanied national policies concerning land reform, corporate colonization, indigenous land rights, environmental protection, and private homesteading. Conjuring Property shows how, in a region that many perceive to be stateless, colonists – from highly capitalized ranchers to landless workers – adopt anticipatory stances while they await future governance intervention regarding land tenure. For Amazonian colonists, property is a dynamic category that becomes salient in the making: it is conjured through papers, appeals to state officials, and the manipulation of landscapes and memories of occupation. This timely study will be of interest to development studies scholars and practitioners, conservation ecologists, geographers, and anthropologists.
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