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Legal pluralism and dynamic property rights:

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  • Meinzen-Dick, Ruth Suseela
  • Pradhan, Rajendra

Abstract

"Conventional conceptions of property rights focus on static definitions of property rights, usually as defined in statutory law. However, in practice there is co-existence and interaction between multiple legal orders such as state, customary, religious, project and local laws, all of which provide bases for claiming property rights. Legal anthropological approaches that recognize this legal pluralism are helpful in understanding this complexity. Individuals may choose one or another of these legal frameworks as the basis for their claims on a resource, in a process referred to as “forum shopping.” Legal pluralism can create uncertainty especially in times of conflict because any individual is unlikely to have knowledge of all types of law that might be relevant, and because rival claimants can use a large repertoire to lay claim to a resource. However, at the same time the multiple legal frameworks facilitate considerable flexibility for people to maneuver in their use of natural resources. Legal pluralism also introduces a sense of dynamism in property rights, as the different legal frameworks do not exist in isolation, but influence each other, and can change over time. Unless these aspects of property rights are recognized, changes in statutory law intended to increase tenure security may instead increase uncertainty, especially for groups with less education and contacts. This paper illustrates the implications of legal pluralism for our understanding of natural resource management and policies toward resource tenure, using the example of water rights. (text of Abstract)

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) in its series CAPRi working papers with number 22.

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Date of creation: 2002
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Handle: RePEc:fpr:worpps:22

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Keywords: Conflict management.; Gender; Capacity;

References

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  1. Meinzen-Dick, Ruth Suseela & Bakker, Margaretha, 2000. "Water rights and multiple water uses: framework and application to Kirindi Oya irrigation system, Sri Lanka," EPTD discussion papers 59, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  2. Smucker, Glenn R. & White, T. Anderson & Bannister, Michael, 2000. "Land tenure and the adoption of agricultural technology in Haiti:," CAPRi working papers 6, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  3. Rosegrant, Mark W. & Ringler, Claudia, 1999. "Impact on food security and rural development of reallocating water from agriculture:," EPTD discussion papers 47, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  4. Edella Schlager & Elinor Ostrom, 1992. "Property-Rights Regimes and Natural Resources: A Conceptual Analysis," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 68(3), pages 249-262.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Merten, Sonja & Haller, Tobias, 2008. "Property rights, food security and child growth: Dynamics of insecurity in the Kafue Flats of Zambia," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(5), pages 434-443, October.
  2. Els Lecoutere, 2010. "Institutions Under Construction: Resolving Resource Conflicts in Tanzanian Irrigation Schemes," Research Working Papers 23, MICROCON - A Micro Level Analysis of Violent Conflict.
  3. Johnson, Nancy & Suarez , Ruth & Lundy, Mark, 2002. "The importance of social capital in Colombian rural agro-enterprises:," CAPRi working papers 26, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  4. Weingart, Anne & Kirk, Michael, 2008. "Escaping poverty traps?: Collective action and property rights in post-war rural Cambodia," CAPRi working papers 89, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  5. Roncoli, Carla & Jost, Christine & Perez, Carlos & Moore, Keith & Ballo, Adama & Cisse, Salmana & Ouattara, Karim, 2007. "Carbon sequestration from common property resources: Lessons from community-based sustainable pasture management in north-central Mali," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 94(1), pages 97-109, April.
  6. Canavari, Maurizio & Centonze, Roberta & Spadoni, Roberta, 2006. "Traceability as Part of Competitive Strategy in the Fruit Supply Chain," 2006 Annual Meeting, August 12-18, 2006, Queensland, Australia 25639, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
  7. Place, Frank & Kariuki, Gatarwa & Wangila, Justine & Kristjanson, Patti & Makauki, Adolf & Ndubi, Jessica, 2002. "Assessing the factors underlying differences in group performance: methodological issues and empirical findings from the highlands of Central Kenya," CAPRi working papers 25, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  8. Anderson, Simon & Centonze, Roberta, 2007. "Property Rights and the Management of Animal Genetic Resources," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 35(9), pages 1529-1541, September.
  9. Krishna, Anirudh, 2003. "Understanding, measuring and utilizing social capital: clarifying concepts and presenting a field application from India," CAPRi working papers 28, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  10. Saint-Macary, Camille & Keil, Alwin & Zeller, Manfred & Heidhues, Franz & Dung, Pham Thi My, 2008. "Land titling policy and soil conservation in the uplands of Northern Vietnam," Research in Development Economics and Policy (Discussion Paper Series) 92828, Universitaet Hohenheim, Department of Agricultural Economics and Social Sciences in the Tropics and Subtropics.
  11. Benjamin, Charles E., 2008. "Legal Pluralism and Decentralization: Natural Resource Management in Mali," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 36(11), pages 2255-2276, November.
  12. Lorenzo Pellegrini, 2007. "The Rule of The Jungle in Pakistan: A Case Study on Corruption and Forest Management in Swat," Working Papers 2007.91, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  13. Byström, Marie, 2004. "Formal and informal systems in support of farmer management of agro-biodiversity: some policy challenges to consolidate lessons learned," CAPRi working papers 31, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  14. Satyapriya Rout, 2003. "Conflicts over Natural Resources and Legal Pluralism: A Case Study from Orissa," Working Papers 137, Institute for Social and Economic Change, Bangalore.
  15. Anderson, Simon & Centose, Roberta, 2006. "Property rights and the management of animal genetic resources: how to secure access to drylands resources for multiple users," CAPRi working papers 48, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  16. Heyd, Helene & Neef, Andreas, 2004. "Participation of local people in water management: evidence from the Mae Sa Watershed, northern Thailand," EPTD discussion papers 128, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  17. Eyzaguirre, Pablo B. & Dennis, Evan M., 2007. "The Impacts of Collective Action and Property Rights on Plant Genetic Resources," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 35(9), pages 1489-1498, September.
  18. Joyeeta Gupta & Louis Lebel, 2010. "Access and allocation in earth system governance: water and climate change compared," International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 10(4), pages 377-395, December.
  19. Ansoms, An & Wagemakers, Inge & Madison Walker, Michael & Murison, Jude, 2014. "Land Contestation at the Micro Scale: Struggles for Space in the African Marshes," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 243-252.
  20. Hundie, Bekele, 2006. "Explaining Changes of Property Rights among Afar Pastoralists, Ethiopia," Institutional Change in Agriculture and Natural Resources Discussion Papers 18833, Humboldt University Berlin, Department of Agricultural Economics.
  21. Bomuhangi, Allan & Doss, Cheryl & Meinzen-Dick, Ruth, 2011. "Who owns the land?: Perspectives from rural Ugandans and implications for land acquisitions," IFPRI discussion papers 1136, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  22. McCarthy, Nancy & Dutilly-Diane, Celine & Drabo, Boureima & Kamara, Abdul & Vanderlinden, Jean-Paul, 2004. "Managing resources in erratic environments: an analysis of pastoralist systems in Ethiopia, Niger, and Burkina Faso," Research reports 135, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  23. Roy, Jessica & Crow, Ben, 2004. "Gender Relations and Access to Water: What We Want to Know About Social Relations and Women's Time Allocation," Center for Global, International and Regional Studies, Working Paper Series qt0m5033gv, Center for Global, International and Regional Studies, UC Santa Cruz.

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