Mathilde Gingembre is currently undertaking an ESRC-funded PhD research project with the Resource Politics Team. Drawing upon ethnographic work in southern Madagascar, her research analyses the resistance/non-resistance of agro-pastoral populations to increasing commercial pressure on farmland. She has discussed some of her findings in book chapters and peer-review journals (Journal of Peasant Studies, Politique Africaine, Development and Change).
Before working with IDS, Mathilde carried out two years of research with the Universite Pantheon-Sorbonne in Paris on issues of religion and politics in Madagascar. She has also worked as a consultant on issues of human rights and governance for several organisations, engaged in volutary work in France and Madagascar and has carried out reveiw work for several peer-review work for several peer-review journals in agrarian and rural studies.
Mathilde holds an MA in Social Research Methods from the University of Sussex (Distinction), an MSc in African Studies from the University of SOAS (Hon.) and a BA in Political Science from the Institut d’Etudes Politiques in Lille, France (Hon.). She has also studied Malagasy language, civilisation and literature at the INALCO (Paris).
Mathilde’s doctoral research investigates the politics of and resistance to ‘land grabbing’ from below. Drawing upon ethnographic work on the implementation of an agribusiness project in southern Madagascar, it sets to explain the variety of perspectives that can develop towards corporate land enclosure within peasant populations experiencing different degrees of vulnerability and contrasted experiences with local consultation processes. It also documents the different ways local populations invest spaces of negotiations and decision-making, scrutinising the power mechanisms that inform these engagements and how these intersect with endogenous understanding of rights and obligations embedded within a specific moral economy.
Finally, it explores the variegated, fickle responses of state actors to quests for participation and accountability. The purpose of the study is to shed light on political, power and class dynamics in processes of land deal negotiations and provide keys to understanding their differentiated outcome on issues of land rights, social cohesion and social justice.