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Fragmenting the Commons: The Transformation of Property Rights in Kenya's Maasailand (Research Proposal)

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: Mwangi, Esther
Conference: Colloquium at the Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis
Location: Indiana University, Bloomington, IN
Conf. Date: January
Date: 2001
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/5639
Sector: General & Multiple Resources
Region: Africa
Subject(s): property rights
common pool resources
Maasai (African people)
Abstract: "This dissertation research explores the process by which property rights to land in Kenya's Maasailand1 are transforming from communally owned and managed parcels to individually-held, private units. It also explores the environmental outcomes of privatization in an ecosystem that is typically characterized as arid to semi-arid. The research anticipates that much of the process of transformation may be an endogenous reaction by ordinary Maasai to various influences. Privatization may be a mechanism to guard against increased encroachment and dispossession of their land by wealthy/powerful Maasai elite and an increasing population of cultivating, non-Maasai immigrants. It may also be a response to pressure by Maasai youth who envision greater access to credit for land development activities that individual titling suggests. This research also anticipates that transformation into individual units is likely to result in a deteriorating range characterized by a higher proportion invasive species that are unpalatable to livestock."

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