Local Politics and the Dynamics of Property in Africa by Christian LundLocal Politics and the Dynamics of Property in Africa by Christian Lund

Local Politics and the Dynamics of Property in Africa

byChristian Lund

Paperback | March 29, 2010

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Access to land and property is vital to people's livelihoods in rural, peri-urban, and urban areas in Africa. People exert tremendous energy and imagination to have land claims recognized as rights with a variety of political, administrative, and legal institutions. This book is dedicated to a detailed analysis of how public authority and the state are formed through debates and struggles over property in the Upper East Region of Ghana. While scarcity may indeed promote exclusivity, the evidence from this book shows that when there are many institutions competing for the right to authorize claims to land, the result of an effort to unify and clarify the law is to intensify competition among them and weaken their legitimacy. The book particularly explores how state divestiture of land in 1979 encouraged competition between customary authorities and how the institution of the earthpriest was revived. Such processes are key to understanding property and authority in Africa.
Title:Local Politics and the Dynamics of Property in AfricaFormat:PaperbackDimensions:224 pages, 8.98 × 5.98 × 0.51 inPublished:March 29, 2010Publisher:Cambridge University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0521148510

ISBN - 13:9780521148511


Table of Contents

1. Local politics and the dynamics of property: an introduction; 2. 'This situation is incongruous in the extreme': the history of land policies in the Upper Regions of Ghana; 3. Who owns Bolgatanga? The revival of the earthpriest and emerging tensions over property; 4. Seizing opportunities: chieftaincy, land and local administration; 5. Settled facts or facts to settle?: land conflicts under institutional uncertainty; 6. 'Bakwu is still volatile': ethno-political conflict and state recognition; 7. The rent of non-enforcement: access to forest resources; 8. Small dams and fluid tenure; 9. Conclusion.

Editorial Reviews

"This is a major contribution to the anthropology of politics in Africa. It represents a new anthropology of public space and is indispensable to those interested in studying the state, land, and property in Africa. The book offers a subtle, innovative, and stimulating new reading of the primary contributions within legal anthropology and the anthropology of development. The analysis of local politics and land conflicts illuminates the social, institutional, and symbolic construction of property and public authority. Lund's work is outstanding." Jean-Pierre Olivier de Sardan, Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Marseille, and LASDEL, Niamey.