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Property Relations in Tibet Since Decollectivisation and the Question of 'Fuzziness'

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Type: Journal Article
Author: Yeh, Emily T.
Journal: Conservation & Society
Volume: 2
Date: 2004
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/2952
Sector: Agriculture
Region: East Asia
Subject(s): property rights
transitional economics
land tenure and use
Abstract: "Property relations in contemporary Tibet are often ambiguous. Their fuzziness has origins in both the legacy of post-socialist transformation and the ongoing struggle over state incorporation. This article examines the ways in which these two sources of ambiguity contribute to two related types of fuzziness, one found in a departure from idealised images of exclusive private property, and the other arising from political constraints on the exercise of legally defined rights. The article examines these two related sources and types of ambiguity by chronicling on-the-ground property relations since decollectivisation in peri-urban Lhasa, Tibet Autonomous Region, China. This includes discussions of the length of House-hold Responsibility System contracts in Tibet, the extent and variation in village land reallocations, degree of management rights, and reasons for and villagers' responses to village land expropriation. While the heterogeneity of property forms in Tibet is similar to that in other parts of China, Tibetan farmers are also more constrained than their Han counterparts in exercising the bundle of powers that constitute property."

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