Recently, the academic and political debate on resource scarcity and conflict has been revitalized against the background of global trends like climate change and the growing commercial pressure on land. Scholars widely agree that resource scarcity causes or influences conflict via social and political mediation mechanisms. But the respective understanding of social mediation fundamentally depends on theoretical and ontological perspectives. We argue that conflicts over land are indeed distributive conflicts over a scarce resource. But they cannot be understood regarding only the materiality of the resource because the conflicts are embedded in specific social relations. We examine local conflicts over land in the Comoé region, South Western Burkina Faso and illustrate how local citizenship is negotiated in these conflicts. Control of and access to land as well as social categories of citizenship and belonging are linked to each other in a mutually constitutive relationship.