Land tenure regimes and state structure in rural Africa: implications for forms of resistance to large-scale land acquisitions by outsiders

Land tenure regimes and state structure in rural Africa: implications for forms of resistance to large-scale land acquisitions by outsiders

Author: 
Boone, Catherine
Publisher: 
Taylor & Francis Group
Date published: 
2015
Record type: 
Journal Title: 
Journal of Contemporary African Studies
Source: 
Journal of Contemporary African Studies, Vol. 33, No. 2, April 2015, pp. 171-190
Abstract: 

This paper argues for seeing African land tenure regimes as institutional configurations that have been defined and redefined as part of state-building projects. Land regimes have built state authority in the rural areas, fixed populations in rural territories, and organised rural society into political collectivities subject to central control. Land tenure regimes can be understood as varying across subnational jurisdictions (rather than as invariant across space) in ways that can be grasped in terms of a conceptual distinction between neo-customary and statist forms (rather than as infinitely diverse). Differences between the two have implications for the character of political authority in the rural areas, the nature of political identities and community structure, and the nature of property and land claims. These political effects are visible in differences in the forms of local protest and resistance to commercial land acquisitions in peri-urban Kumasi, Ghana, where a neo-customary land regime prevails, and the Kiru Valley of northern Tanzania, where land institutions are decidedly statist.

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Country focus: 

CITATION: Boone, Catherine. Land tenure regimes and state structure in rural Africa: implications for forms of resistance to large-scale land acquisitions by outsiders . : Taylor & Francis Group , 2015. Journal of Contemporary African Studies, Vol. 33, No. 2, April 2015, pp. 171-190 - Available at: http://library.au.int/land-tenure-regimes-and-state-structure-rural-africa-implications-forms-resistance-large-scale-lan-1