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Prof Ruth Hall

SARChl Chair and Professor



Ruth Hall is a full professor and holds the DSI-NRF South African Research Chair (SARChI) in Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies.

Ruth is editor of the Journal of Peasant Studies. She has co-founded several regional and global research networks: the Land Deal Politics Initiative (LDPI), the BRICS Initiative in Critical Agrarian Studies (BICAS), the Emancipatory Rural Politics Initiative (ERPI), and the Network of Excellence on Land Governance in Africa (NELGA). She served as a member of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s Advisory Panel on Land Reform, and has published several books, including Africa’s Land Rush: Rural Livelihoods and Agrarian ChangeGlobal Land Grabbing and Political Reactions from BelowAnother Countryside? Policy Options for Land and Agrarian Reform in South AfricaLand, Memory, Reconstruction and Justice: Perspectives on Land Claims in South Africa  and The Land Question in South Africa.

Research Focus

Political economy of land and agrarian change, redistributive land reforms, statutory and customary land tenure, women’s land rights, land governance, agro-food systems, agrarian labour


  • Doctor of Philosophy in Politics and International Relations, University of Oxford
  • Master of Philosophy in Development Studies, University of Oxford
  • Honours in Political Studies (Africa), University of Cape Town
  • Bachelor of Social Science in Sociology and Political Studies, University of Cape Town

Selected Publications

  • Hall, R. and Cousins, B. 2017. Exporting contradictions: the expansion of South African agrarian capital within Africa. Globalizations, 15(1): 12-31.
  • Hall, R., Scoones, I. and Tsikata, D. 2017. Plantations, outgrowers and commercial farming in Africa: agricultural commercialisation and implications for agrarian change. The Journal of Peasant Studies, 44(3): 515-537.
  • Kepe, T. and Hall, R. 2017. Creating learning and action space in South Africa’s post-apartheid land redistribution program. Action Research.
  • Lawry, S., Samii, C., Hall, R., Leopold, A., Hornby, D. and Mtero, F. 2016. The impact of land property rights interventions on investment and agricultural productivity in developing countries: a systematic review. Journal of Development Effectiveness, 9(1): 61-81.
  • McKay, B., Hall, R. and Liu, J. (2016). The rise of BRICS: implications for global agrarian transformation. Third World Thematics: A TWQ Journal, 1(5): 581-591.
  • Scoones, I., Edelman, M., Borras, S., Hall, R., Wolford, W. and White, B. 2017. Emancipatory rural politics: confronting authoritarian populism. The Journal of Peasant Studies, 45(1): 1-20.