Titlebar

Export bibliographic data
Literature by the same author
plus on the publication server
plus at Google Scholar

 

This can('t) be an asset class: The world of money management, “society”, and the contested morality of farmland investments

Title data

Ouma, Stefan:
This can('t) be an asset class: The world of money management, “society”, and the contested morality of farmland investments.
In: Environment and Planning A : Economy and Space. (19 August 2018) . - online first.
ISSN 1472-3409
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/0308518X18790051

Abstract in another language

Drawing on several years of fieldwork-based research on and in the “farmland investment space”, this paper argues that a combined reading of debates on assets and assetization in financialized capitalism and convention theory offers novel insights into the moral struggles associated with the transformation of farmland into an “alternative asset class”. It demonstrates that central to the assetization of farmland is the globally distributed effort to bestow it with a legitimate financial worth. While many financial actors paint the picture that farmland has an absolute or intrinsic value, and that this value can be “unlocked”, the paper demonstrates that farmland only gains its financial worth through collective yet contested practices of classification, valuation and valorization. This process has internal (related to the financial industry) and external (related to “society”) dimensions. Farmland only becomes a legitimate asset class if it can be meaningfully set in relation to other asset classes, and if the underlying “assets” generate legitimate returns to investors. At the same time, the legitimation of farmland as an “asset class” has been threatened by attacks of social forces such as NGOs, as accusations of immorality (i.e. “land grabbing”) have become major reputational risks for the supertankers of the industry – institutional investors. This notwithstanding, “capital” and its supporters have worked hard to overcome these internal and external barriers. Eventually, the case presented here allows us to problematize and repoliticize the often-invisiblized morality of finance, which is as much about “value” as it is about “values”.

Further data

Item Type: Article in a journal
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Financialization; assetization; farmland; morality; land grabbing
Institutions of the University: Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Earth Sciences
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Earth Sciences > Chair Economic Geography
Faculties
Result of work at the UBT: No
DDC Subjects: 500 Science
500 Science > 550 Earth sciences, geology
Date Deposited: 09 Apr 2019 09:47
Last Modified: 15 Apr 2019 07:18
URI: https://eref.uni-bayreuth.de/id/eprint/48623