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Land’s future? (Re)imagining land as a financial asset class

January 29 @ 4:15 pm - 6:00 pm

By Sarah Ruth Sippel (Münster University)

Webinar, jointly hosted with Centre on Labour, Sustainability and Global Production, QMUL

29 January, 4:15 – 6:00 pm UK time

Webinar recording available here: https://youtu.be/fMpKWdShcq4

In recent years, ‘all things nature’ have been subjected to finance’s reimagining – be it oil, water, wildlife, or weather, nature is increasingly providing the basis for a whole range of new financial asset classes and products. This return to the ‘real’ suggests that financial logic has cycled back to ‘tangible’ assets, a phenomenon that seems to be particularly tied to moments of crisis. Intensified by the financial crises since 2008, and as a response to the poor performance of ‘traditional’ asset classes, financial institutions have come to view ‘real assets’ as profitable investments, including farmland. However, the specific realities and tangibilities of land also pose a challenge for its financialization – and require active reimaginations of land and farming practices. Drawing on qualitative empirical research in Australia, this presentation explores the various reimaginations of land that underlie, and go along with, the ‘assetization’ of farmland, that is an imagination where the possibility of generating a positive cash flow becomes the primary imagination of land.

About the presenter

Sarah Ruth Sippel is a professor of economic geography and globalization studies at Münster University. ​In her previous research, she worked on the interlinkages between export agriculture, rural livelihood security, and labour migration in North Africa and the Western Mediterranean. Her current research investigates how land, a vital resource for human survival, is turned into a ‘financial asset’ – an object for financial investment and speculation. More recently, she has also started developing new projects on the research and development, and financing of digital farming technologies, and diverse economies in rural Southern Italy.

This webinar is part of the Spring 2024 Agrarian Change Seminar Series.


January 29
4:15 pm - 6:00 pm




Journal of Agrarian Change
Centre on Labour, Sustainability & Global Production, Queen Mary University of London