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Aliz Tóth

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Graduate Student Research Funding | 2019 - 2020 Academic Year

Development vs. Democracy: The Politics of Land Acquisition and Resistance

Governments increasingly acquire land for public and private purposes using eminent domain prerogatives. Resistance to land acquisition is common, but far from universal. Why do some individuals resist while others do not? When do entire communities protest their government? Leveraging both qualitative and quantitative sources of data, this project tests different explanations about individual motivations to resist acquisition; builds a theory of how and why communities organize; and characterizes the geographic and temporal distribution of conflict in India. This research has implications for debates on natural resources conflict, territorial disputes, and social policy design.

Aliz Tóth, Department of Political Science

Aliz Toth

Aliz Tóth is a PhD student in political science at Stanford University. Her dissertation research investigates why government efforts to acquire land for public projects and private enterprises often result in protest and litigation, with a regional focus on India. Tóth’s dissertation proposes a novel theory of bargaining breakdown where conflict becomes a rational response for governments and landowners when the price of land and communities’ resolve is uncertain. The dissertation uses a variety of methods including qualitative interviews, original survey data, and public datasets to test the role of asymmetric information and land prices in perpetuating conflict.

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