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Contemporary Processes of Large-Scale Land Acquisition in Sub-Saharan Africa: Legal Deficiency or Elite Capture of the Rule of Law?

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  • German, Laura
  • Schoneveld, George
  • Mwangi, Esther
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    Abstract

    Growth of emerging economies, policy commitments to biofuels and volatility in commodity prices have contributed to a marked increase in the pace and scale of foreign direct investment in land-based enterprises in the global South. This paper explores the relationship between policy and practice associated with customary rights protections in the context of large-scale land acquisitions through a document review and case study analyses from Ghana, Mozambique, Tanzania, and Zambia. Findings point to the difficulty of safeguarding customary rights even in countries providing “best practice” legal protections, and point to the fundamental role of human agency in shaping outcomes.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal World Development.

    Volume (Year): 48 (2013)
    Issue (Month): C ()
    Pages: 1-18

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:wdevel:v:48:y:2013:i:c:p:1-18

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/worlddev

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    Keywords: foreign direct investment; land governance; land grabs; large-scale land acquisition; sub-Saharan Africa;

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    1. Habib-Mintz, Nazia, 2010. "Biofuel investment in Tanzania: Omissions in implementation," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(8), pages 3985-3997, August.
    2. Lastarria-Cornhiel, Susana, 1997. "Impact of privatization on gender and property rights in Africa," World Development, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 25(8), pages 1317-1333, August.
    3. Joireman, S.F., 2008. "The Mystery of Capital Formation in Sub-Saharan Africa: Women, Property Rights and Customary Law," World Development, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 36(7), pages 1233-1246, July.
    4. Luo, Yadong & Xue, Qiuzhi & Han, Binjie, 2010. "How emerging market governments promote outward FDI: Experience from China," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 45(1), pages 68-79, January.
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