Political reactions ‘from below’ to global land grabbing have been vastly more varied and complex than is usually assumed. This essay introduces a collection of ground-breaking studies that discuss responses that range from various types of organized and everyday resistance to demands for incorporation or for better terms of incorporation into land deals. Initiatives ‘from below’ in response to land deals have involved local and transnational alliances and the use of legal and extra-legal methods, and have brought victories and defeats. The relevance of political reactions to land grabbing is discussed in light of theories of social movements and critical agrarian studies. Future research on reactions ‘from below’ to land grabbing must include greater attention to gender and generational differences in both impacts and political agency.