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Conflicting Concepts: Contested Land Relations in North-Western Vietnam

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: Sikor, Thomas
Conference: Politics of the Commons: Articulating Development and Strengthening Local Practices
Location: Chiang Mai, Thailand
Conf. Date: July 11-14
Date: 2003
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/8036
Sector: Land Tenure & Use
Social Organization
Region: East Asia
Subject(s): IASC
land tenure and use
property rights
social networks
transitional economics
Abstract: "This papers examines land reforms in villages of north-western Vietnam. Land allocation provided a window in which different conceptions of land tenure came to light. Villagers resisted the implementation of key elements of the new land legislation, though the new law purported to extend people's control over land. People's resistance manifested a fundamental disjuncture between the exclusive and territorial concept of land tenure promoted in the new land law and people's lived land relation. People refused to give up the substance of land relations that had proven useful before collectivisation, under collective agriculture, and again in the initial years of decollectivization. People's reactions highlight how postsocialist land reforms provoke their own forms of resistance. Villagers negotiate the reforms in conflicts over resources and authority as well as over the very concept of landed property. This paper examines the nature of these conflicts, explores their linkages with socialist and postsocialist land legislation, and relates them to the larger literature on postsocialist property relations."

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