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10-13: Legal pluralism and tenure reforms: Has there been progress?
Stakeholder narratives on tenure transformation in Morocco
Georgetown University, United States of America
The Moroccan government and development organizations have repeatedly identified the legal complexity of collective land, which makes up one-third of Morocco’s territory, as a barrier to rural development. In 2017, the government began a project to transform 46,000 hectares of collective land in the Gharb irrigated perimeter into private property with funding from the Millennium Challenge Corporation. I explore how diverse stakeholders to this privatization project mobilize different narratives to express their implicit and explicit objectives, concerns, and future expectations on the outcomes of titling collective land. I trace the historical trajectory of collective tenure in Morocco, as well as analyzing the likely outcomes of privatization on economic livelihoods, administrative shifts, and the implications of privatization on agrarian social relations. I conclude by exploring some potential policy options that could achieve project objectives and alleviate stakeholders’ concerns while maintaining local usage of newly-titled land in the Gharb region.
The heavy burden of the past - The political economy of rural reform in Colombia.
George Mason University, United States of America
Conflicts over the distribution of land have been a constant in the history of Colombia and consensus exists around the idea that inequality in access to the resource is at the core of the intense civil war the country has gone through.
As part of the peace agreement reached with the FARC, the Colombian Government has embarked on an Integral Rural Reform (IRR) strategy with the potential to address historical agrarian issues that have hindered the pace of development and generated protracted conflict.
However, its results are expected to alter the historical status quo and consequently affect the interests of some actors. The paper describes the political economy of the IRR agreement by identifying the actors and the issues from which either support for, or resistance to, the initiative is likely to materialize.
Real change or paper tigers? An assessment of legal support for community property
This paper assesses the application of new land laws since 1990 which provide for community property, defined as lands which communities traditionally or contemporarily possess, use and govern. A substantial background on legal trends is provided. This includes a shorter review of the global situation and a longer analysis of new land statutes on the African continent since 1990. Implications in trends and substance are then critiqued. The paper then turns to issues of application and uptake of the law. Could it be that the wave of legal reformism that promises to bring majority untitled land interests in Africa out of the cold as unprotected interest, is predominantly a paper tiger, promising more than it ever intends to deliver? If so, why?
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Conference: 20th Land and Poverty Conference
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