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Challenges in Land Tenure and Land Reform in Africa: Anthropological Contributions

  • Peters, Pauline E.
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    Summary This paper discusses the interface of anthropological research on land with policy positions across formative periods--from the colonial period through to the present as land tenure reform has repeatedly become a development priority; and recent research on intensifying competition over land, its intersection with competition over legitimate authority, new types of land transfers, the role of claims of indigeneity or autochthony in land conflicts, and the challenges of increasing social inequality and of commodification of land for analysis and for land reform. Anthropology is best known for its intensive fieldwork--deep immersion in social situations and long-term involvement with social groups--which produces the rich ethnographies that inform debates about land. Equally important is the conceptual contribution by anthropologists in dialogue with the ethnographies as well as with other researchers--the rethinking of concepts and theories used to analyze land relations.

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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal World Development.

    Volume (Year): 37 (2009)
    Issue (Month): 8 (August)
    Pages: 1317-1325

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:wdevel:v:37:y:2009:i:8:p:1317-1325
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    1. Jan Kees van Donge & Levi Pherani, 1999. "Law and order as a development issue: Land conflicts and the creation of social order in Southern Malawi," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(2), pages 48-70.
    2. Jean-Philippe Colin & Mourad Ayouz, 2006. "The Development of a Land Market? Insights from Côte d’Ivoire," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 82(3), pages 404-423.
    3. Atwood, David A., 1990. "Land registration in Africa: The impact on agricultural production," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 18(5), pages 659-671, May.
    4. Gray, Leslie C. & Kevane, Michael, 2001. "Evolving Tenure Rights and Agricultural Intensification in Southwestern Burkina Faso," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 573-587, April.
    5. Lastarria-Cornhiel, Susana, 1997. "Impact of privatization on gender and property rights in Africa," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 25(8), pages 1317-1333, August.
    6. J.-P. Colin & M. Ayouz, 2006. "The development of a land market? Insights from Côte d'Ivoire," Post-Print hal-00719280, HAL.
    7. Deininger, Klaus & Binswanger, Hans, 1999. "The Evolution of the World Bank's Land Policy: Principles, Experience, and Future Challenges," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 14(2), pages 247-76, August.
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