This special issue aims at investigating large scale land acquisitions from an ethical perspective. As such, it is based on a broad understanding of applied ethics. First, we conceive of applied ethics as targeted at but also anchored in real world cases. This is why we understand case studies that make the moral aspects of LaSLA explicit as constituting an indispensible part of ethical analysis. Accordingly, the special issue encompasses four case studies, namely the case of Limphasa Sugar Corporation in Malawi, financed by a Malawian and some British Investors (Blessings et al.), Chinese-based land-acquisitions in Cambodia (Neef et al.), a Norwegian land appropriation in Ghana aiming at biofuel production (Wisborg) and three projects in Tanzania, encompassing two afforestation projects under the Kyoto Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), and one project aiming at bioenergy production (Purdon). These case studies back the underlying thesis of this issue, namely that LaSLA constitutes a moral problem that asks for ethical analysis and reflection. In terms of such ethical reflection, this issue spans a broad range of issues, among them sustainability issues (Purdon, Voget-Kleschin, Voget-Kleschin, and Stephan), human rights (Toft, Voget-Kleschin and Stephan, Wisborg), and an analysis from a Rawlsian framework of thought (Montilla and Schwarze). Finally, engaging in a thorough analysis of LaSLA necessitates acknowledging issues of power, corruption, and policy. While these aspects feature to some degree in all of the papers, they are especially prominent in Neef et al.’s and Wisborg’s paper, which address discursive tactics of depoliticizing struggle against and legitimizing new allocation of land.