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Searching for Livelihood Security: Land and Mobility in Burkina Faso


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  • M. Breusers
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    The incremental approach to land reform in sub-Saharan Africa constitutes a rapprochement between proponents of the introduction of private property regimes and their critics. The incrementalists recognise that local tenure regimes can change and that they should be the basis of any land-reform programme. This article argues that an important gap remains with regard to the dynamics of tenure arrangements observed in a highly insecure environment, because the incremental approach retains a western-type of tenure security as its ultimate goal. Geographic mobility of actors and fields is essential to the protection of livelihoods in the north-central region of Burkina Faso. This mobility not only is made possible by the prevailing land tenure regime but also underpins its flexibility and allows the merging and shifting of rights. All of this argues against the establishment of western-type tenure security and in favour of the maintenance of flexible resource tenure regimes - a model discussed in recent years in relation to pastoral land use in drylands. This would have the additional advantage of integrating understandings of, and approaches to, pastoralists' and crop-farmers' land use in regions where these population groups already intermingle.

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    Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Journal of Development Studies.

    Volume (Year): 37 (2001)
    Issue (Month): 4 ()
    Pages: 49-80

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    Handle: RePEc:taf:jdevst:v:37:y:2001:i:4:p:49-80

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    Keywords: Livelihood Security; Land Reform; Geographic Mobility; Tenure Security; Land Use; Burkina Faso;


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    Cited by:
    1. Platteau, Jean-Philippe, 2002. "The Gradual Erosion of the Social Security Function of Customary Land Tenure Arrangements in Lineage-Based Societies," Working Paper Series, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER) UNU-WIDER Research Paper , World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    2. Wouterse, Fleur & Taylor, J. Edward, 2008. "Migration and Income Diversification:: Evidence from Burkina Faso," World Development, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 36(4), pages 625-640, April.
    3. Wouterse, F. S., 2008. "Migration, poverty, and inequality: Evidence from Burkina Faso," IFPRI discussion papers, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) 786, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    4. Brasselle, Anne-Sophie & Gaspart, Frederic & Platteau, Jean-Philippe, 2002. "Land tenure security and investment incentives: puzzling evidence from Burkina Faso," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 373-418, April.
    5. Mwangi, Esther & Dohrn, Stephan, 2006. "Biting the bullet: how to secure access to drylands resources for multiple users," CAPRi working papers, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) 47, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).


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