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Holding property in trust: kinship, law, and property enactment on Norwegian smallholdings


  • Frode Flemsæter
  • Gunhild Setten


In this paper we discuss relations between kinship, law, and property enactment. A recent revision of The Norwegian Act Relating to Concession in the Acquisition of Real Property is designed to influence the relation between subjects (property owners) and objects (properties) through ceasing the obligation of residency and cultivation on certain properties, which in turn is intended to increase sales prices of the respective properties. Drawing upon empirical research conducted in four Norwegian local authority districts, we argue that responsibility for past, present, and future generations of family or kin is highly important in property enactment. Although relations between subjects and objects are powerful and inform policy actions, relations between social subjects might be just as influential and powerful. When enacting properties, people may live in more complicated worlds than is often assumed. We assert that further research in legal geography and the emerging field of ‘geographies of relatedness’ might profit from seeing kinship and property as coconstituted.

Suggested Citation

  • Frode Flemsæter & 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:pio:envira:v:41:y:2009:i:9:p:2267-2284

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    Cited by:

    1. Berge, Erling & Kambewa, Daimon & Munthali, Alister & Wiig, Henrik, 2013. "Lineage and Land Reforms in Malawi: Do Matrilineal and Patrilineal Landholding Systems Represent a Problem for Land Reforms in Malawi?," CLTS Working Papers 9/13, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Centre for Land Tenure Studies.

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