Dispossession by financialization: the end(s) of rurality in the making of a speculative land market

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This article elaborates upon the concept of speculative urbanism and the theory of accumulation by dispossession by delving into the recent history of the transformation of Bengaluru (formerly Bangalore) India into a global city. It explains how the conversion of rural land into urban real estate for ‘global-city’ projects triggered distinct forms of dispossession and financialization. The shifting practices of global finance capital along with its national and local partners have created the conditions for widespread dispossession of rural producers and the financialization of the regional economy, a phenomenon identified here as ‘dispossession by financialization’.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1251-1277
Number of pages27
JournalJournal of Peasant Studies
Issue number6
StatePublished - Sep 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
I would like to offer my gratitude to Vinay Baindur and Manjunath for their remarkable research support over the years, and thank Ph.D student collaborator Devika Narayan, research consultants Sanjiv Aundhe and Amay Narayan, and Profs. Carol Upadhya, Vinay Gidwani, Helga Leitner, Eric Sheppard, and Hemangini Gupta for their generous support and comraderie. Special thanks go to Prof. Rachel Schurman for her intellectual and editing support and to my colleagues participating in the ACLS Land Dispossession Workshop in Singapore. Research was funded by an American Institute of Indian Studies Senior Fellowship, Dr. V. K. R. V. Rao Chair Professorship from the Institute for Social and Economic Change-Bengaluru, University of Minnesota GPS research grant, and a collaborative research project on Speculative Urbanism funded by National Science Foundation (grant number BCS-1626437) and based at the National Institute of Advanced Studies-Bengaluru.


  • India
  • Speculative urbanism
  • debt
  • dispossession by financialization
  • global cities
  • global finance capital
  • land dispossession
  • urban real estate

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