Land reforms in Africa: Theory, practice, and outcome

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Journal Article
Habitat International, 2012, 36 (1), pp. 161 - 170
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The debate about land reforms in Africa is characterised by two 'schools of thought'. On the one hand, there are those who argue that land policies should be rooted in a theory of social capital, especially the African traditional land tenure system. On the other hand, there are those who are convinced that individualised tenurial systems are more effective and desirable. This paper assesses the relevance of these prescriptions through the case study technique. It analyses the experiences of 4 African countries whose land reform programmes have been influenced by these theories. The evidence suggests that there is only limited congruence between the theories and practices and between the outcomes and theories of land reforms in Africa. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.
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