Lineage and Land Reforms in Malawi: Do Matrilineal and Patrilineal Landholding Systems Represent a Problem for Land Reforms in Malawi?
AbstractThis paper is about land tenure relations among the matrilineal and patrilineal cultures in Malawi. Data from the National Agricultural and Livestock Census are used to characterize marriage systems and settlement and landholding patterns for local communities. Marriage systems correspond to customary land tenure patterns of matrilineal or patrilineal land holding. The differences between the two major ways of land holding represent a particular challenge for land reforms intending to unify rules for land tenure and land devolution. The paper discusses the problems of formalisation and the idea of maintaining the diversity. If diversity is not respected there is a chance that some sections of society, especially communities with matrilineal land holding, might be victims of formalization. Based on analogy of the resilience of the patrilineal land holding system in Norway it is argued that a democratic system will have difficulty removing the preferential rights of linage members and it is recommended that the existing land rights are formally recognized and circumscribed by fair procedures. In a situation of diversity one goal of a well-designed land holding system should be to ease the transitions of the diverse customary tenure systems towards systems adapted to the requirements of a modern large scale society rather than to a unified national system.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Centre for Land Tenure Studies, Norwegian University of Life Sciences in its series CLTS Working Papers with number 9/13.
Length: 19 pages
Date of creation: 18 Jun 2013
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Postal: Centre for Land Tenure Studies, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, P.O. Box 5003, NO-1432 Aas, Norway
Web page: http://www.umb.no/clts
matrilinea; uxorilocal; patrilinea; virilocal; land tenur; inheritance; access rights; use rights; ownership rights; Malawi;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- P48 - Economic Systems - - Other Economic Systems - - - Political Economy; Legal Institutions; Property Rights; Natural Resources; Energy; Environment; Regional Studies
- Q15 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Land Ownership and Tenure; Land Reform; Land Use; Irrigation; Agriculture and Environment
- Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Social and Economic Stratification
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-AFR-2013-06-30 (Africa)
- NEP-AGR-2013-06-30 (Agricultural Economics)
- NEP-ALL-2013-06-30 (All new papers)
- NEP-DEV-2013-06-30 (Development)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Frode Flems�ter & Gunhild Setten, 2009. "Holding property in trust: kinship, law, and property enactment on Norwegian smallholdings," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 41(9), pages 2267-2284, September.
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