Photo of Chris Huggins

Chris Huggins

Degrees:M.A.(Strathclyde University), Ph.D (Carleton University)

Chris Huggins is a researcher, lecturer, and trainer with more than 15 years experience on land and natural resources rights in Sub-Saharan Africa, particularly the political economy of land and agricultural reform. He was previously based in Nairobi as a Research Fellow with the African Centre for Technology Studies (ACTS), and in Kigali as Rwanda Researcher for Human Rights Watch. Training and lecturing work has included teaching at Carleton University’s Norman Paterson School of International Affairs and the School of International Development and Global Studies at University of Ottawa, and co-designing professional training courses for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).  He has consulted with U.N. agencies, bilateral donors, policy think-tanks, International Non-Governmental Organizations, and for-profit institutions.

He has contributed directly to major international reports such as the Annual Report of the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Housing to the UN Human Rights Council. His co-edited textbook on Conflict and Housing, Land and Property Rights has been included on the syllabi of several university courses, including at the University of Edinburgh; University of Tulsa; and University of Copenhagen. Chris is a collaborator on a Major Collaborative Research Initiative, The Indian Ocean World, coordinated by McGill University; a Non-Resident Research Fellow at the African Centre for Technology Studies (ACTS), which was ranked among the top 25 most influential climate change think tanks in the world in 2013; and is currently completing a post-doctoral position at the Netherlands Academy of Land Governance and Food Security (based at Utrecht University). In September 2015 he will commence a prestigious two-year Banting Post-Doctoral Fellowship, based at Wilfrid Laurier University in Canada, under the supervision of Dr. James Orbinski, a member of the Order of Canada recognized as having published papers among the “best science in the world” and as having “shaped scholarship in the field of global health in the post Second World War years”.

Selected Publications:

Journal Articles

2015. “Land-Grabbing, Agricultural Investment and Land Reform in the Democratic Republic Of Congo”
L’Afrique des Grands Lacs: Annuaire 2014-2015. University of Antwerp.

2014. “‘Control Grabbing’ and small-scale agricultural intensification: emerging patterns of state-facilitated ‘agricultural investment’ in Rwanda” in Journal of Peasant Studies, 41 (3)

2009. “Agriculture Policy and Local Grievances in Rural Rwanda: Growing Conflict?” in Peace Review, Vol. 21.3, Summer 2009. Pg. 296 – 303

Leckie, Scott and Huggins, Chris (eds)

2015. Repairing Domestic Climate Displacement. London: Routledge.

2011. Conflict and Housing, Land, and Property Rights: A Handbook on Issues, Frameworks and Solutions. Cambridge University Press

Huggins, Chris and Clover, Jenny (eds)
2005. From the Ground Up: Land Rights, Conflict and Peace in Sub-Saharan Africa. Institute for Security Studies (Pretoria)

Book Chapters

2014. “Land grabbing and land tenure security in post-genocide Rwanda”, in Ansoms, A. and Hilhorst, T. (eds) Losing Your Land: Dispossession in the Great Lakes. Martlesham, UK: James Currey.

Ansoms, An, Giuseppe Cioffo, Chris Huggins and Jude Murison
2014. “The reorganisation of rural space in Rwanda: Habitat concentration, land consolidation, and collective marshland cultivation”, in Ansoms, A. and Hilhorst, T. (eds) Losing Your Land: Dispossession in the Great Lakes. Martlesham, UK: James Currey.

Vlassenroot, Koen and Chris Huggins

2014 “Le foncier et les dynamiques de conflit à l’est de la république démocratique du congo: définir des options d’intervention” In Décentralisation et espaces de pouvoir. Tervuren, Belgium: Royal Museum for Central Africa.

2011. “The Presidential Land Commission: Undermining Land Law Reform”, in Strauss, S and Waldorf, L. (eds) Remaking Rwanda: State Building and Human Rights after Mass Violence. University of Wisconsin Press, 2011. Pg. 252-266

2010. “Shades of Grey: Post-Conflict Land Policy Reform in the Great Lakes Region”, in Ward Anseeuw and Chris Alden (eds), The Struggle over Land in Africa: Conflicts, Politics & Change. The Human Sciences Research Council (Pretoria) 2010. Pg. 37 – 52

2009. “Peacekeeping and HLP rights in the Great Lakes Region of Africa: Burundi, Rwanda, and DR Congo” in Scott Leckie (ed) Housing, Land and Property Rights in Post-Conflict United Nations and other Peace Operations. Cambridge University Press, 2009. Pg. 179 – 219

2009. “Transitional Justice, Land Tenure Reform, and Development” in Pablo de Greiff and Roger Duthie, (eds), Transitional Justice and Development: Making Connections. New York: Social Science Research Council, 2009. Pg. 332 – 374

2009. “Land in Return, Reintegration and Recovery Processes: Some Lessons from the Great Lakes Region of Africa” in Pantuliano, S. (ed) Uncharted Territory: Land, Conflict and Humanitarian Action. Practical Action, 2009. Pg. 67 – 93

2004. “Communal Conflicts in the Darfur Region, Western Sudan”, in Deborah Nightingale, Rachel Nalumoso, and Elizabeth Gowa (eds) Africa Environment Outlook Case Studies: Human Vulnerability to Environmental Change. Nairobi: United Nations Environment Programme, 2004.
Pg. 1 – 9


Christopher Huggins has been awarded a Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship to hold at Laurier for his research examining the use of information communication technologies (ICTs) to promote climate change adaption in Africa. For more information, click here

Policy and Research Reports

2014. Restrictions on Land Use Rights in Rwanda: Understanding the ‘Bundle of Land Rights’ in Context. Focus on Land in Africa (FOLA) Brief.

2013. Consolidating land, consolidating control: State-facilitated ‘agricultural investment’ through the ‘Green Revolution’ in Rwanda. Land Deal Politics Initiative (LDPI) Working Paper 16. Frisca, Szilard; Huggins, Chris; and Unruh, Jon

2012. Toolkit and Guidance for Preventing and Managing Land and Natural Resources Conflict. Brussels/Nairobi: EU-UN Partnership.

2011. A Historical Perspective on the ‘Global Land Rush’. International Land Coalition

2010. Land, Identity and Power: Roots of Conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo. International Alert

2009. Historical and Contemporary Land Laws and their Impact on Indigenous peoples’ Land Rights in Rwanda. Forest People’s Programme