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Law and order as a development issue: Land conflicts and the creation of social order in Southern Malawi

  • Jan Kees van Donge
  • Levi Pherani
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    Registration of individual title to land in order to create legal security has been the central concern in the rich literature on land and law in Africa. The problem of legal insecurity is approached here from a different angle which has received relatively less attention: dispute settlement. The article results from the observation of land disputes in local political arenas. It portrays a local legal cultural universe in which legal insecurity arises especially from legal situations stressing group consensus. It appears that people who are accused of witchcraft and groups which are said not to belong are particularly vulnerable in such a legal culture. The conclusion argues that this case material reveals connections between law, land and the creation of social order which may throw light on many other situations. It pleads for more attention to be paid to the development of jurisprudence in attempts to create legal security.

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    Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Journal of Development Studies.

    Volume (Year): 36 (1999)
    Issue (Month): 2 ()
    Pages: 48-70

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    Handle: RePEc:taf:jdevst:v:36:y:1999:i:2:p:48-70
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