Land Fragmentation and Cropland Abandonment in Albania: Implications for the Roles of State and Community in Post-Socialist Land Consolidation
Summary This paper critiques state-led strategies for land consolidation in Central and Eastern Europe. The critique builds on empirical research about the dynamics of land fragmentation and its presumable effects on cropland abandonment in Albania. Research results indicate that cropland abandonment was driven by a massive turn to non-farm opportunities, especially migration. Land fragmentation was not a rigid constraint on production but resulted from producers' strategic risk spreading. The negotiated nature of land tenure questions the emphasis on state initiatives and administrative procedures in post-socialist land consolidation. Central and Eastern European states instead need to support desirable adaptations initiated by local communities.
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