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Conflict over Property Rights in Land in Africa's Liberalized Political Economies

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: Boone, Catherine
Conference: Workshop on the Workshop 4
Location: Indiana University Bloomington
Conf. Date: June 3-6, 2009
Date: 2009
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10535/109
Sector: Social Organization
Land Tenure & Use
Region: Africa
Subject(s): land tenure and use
property rights
law
policy analysis
rural affairs
citizenship
political economy
Abstract: "Land law reform is high on the agenda of 'second generation' structural adjustment in many, perhaps most, African countries. This turns out to be far more than a matter of simply 'getting the institutions right.' Discussions of land law reform are occurring against the backdrop of on-going debates over land law in many African countries. This paper shows that these debates can engage a complex bundle of political and constitutional issues that complicate efforts to promote the individualization and formalization of land rights in many rural zones, including some of zones of extensively commercialized agriculture. In many African countries, questions of land rights are entangled in debates over the nature of citizenship, local level political authority, and indeed, over the future of the market and of the liberal nation-state itself. The practical salience of the issues is illustrated through reference to land politics in Ghana and Kenya."

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