Professor Pepijn Brandon receives Vidi grant to research Land Grabbing and Dutch Expansion

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam Professor Pepijn Brandon receives Vidi grant of 800,000 euros to research the history of land grabbing and Dutch expansion during the 16th-18th Century

The Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO) has awarded 78 experienced researchers a Vidi grant of 800,000 euros. This will enable them to develop their own innovative line of research over the next five years and to set up a research group […]

One of the 78 researchers is VU historian Pepijn Brandon, who also works for the International Institute of Social History (IISH). He will receive a Vidi worth 800,000 euros for research into Land Grabbing and Dutch expansion (16th-18th century).

Land Grabbing is an urgent global problem with deep historical roots. Brandon’s project shows how the market-oriented early modern Dutch state applied large-scale land expropriation as a commercial strategy within and outside Europe. The Dutch example provides insight into the relationship between violence and the market in the development of agrarian capitalism.

“In 1621, the Dutch East India Company murdered and expelled the inhabitants of the Banda Islands to gain control of nutmeg production. It is an extreme example of land expropriation, but by no means the only one. In the Americas, but also in border areas of the Dutch Republic during the Eighty Years’ War, farmers and original inhabitants were often violently robbed of their land. This is the first large-scale comparative project on the dynamics of such episodes of land expropriation in the Dutch empire,” says Brandon.