Date of Graduation

Winter 12-13-2013

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in International Studies


International Studies

First Advisor

Rue Ziegler, Ph.D.


This thesis focuses on the case study of Senegal to examine the implications of large- scale land acquisitions on the livelihoods of small-scale farmers. I investigate the diverse perspectives of market enthusiasts, human rights organizations, peasants, the state, and international financial organizations on large-scale land acquisitions. Based on primary research, I argue that the state of Senegal plays an active role in permitting “land grabs” and that they pose a threat to food sovereignty among Senegalese host communities. Lastly, I argue there needs to be a broader understanding of long-term consequences and risks to insure social justice in areas affected by “land grabs” in Senegal.