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Toward sustainable livelihoods after war: Reconstituting rural land tenure systems

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Land tenure plays a primary role in sustainable development efforts. However armed conflict and its repercussions reconfigure the network of social relations upon which all land tenure systems depend. In post-conflict settings new laws have the opportunity to address tenure issues in the context of what people are already doing ‘on the ground’, with a view to moving from the fluidity of post-conflict situations to a more solidified and peaceful social and legal environment. However there exists a lack of tools to analyze postwar land tenure and the prospects for reconstituting tenure systems to support recovery and development. This paper uses the Sustainable Livelihoods framework to examine postwar land tenure issues in order to draw out latent opportunities within emergent informal smallholder tenure constructs which may have utility in the reconstitution of national tenure systems.

Keywords: International development; Land rights; Postwar land tenure; Recovery; Sustainable livelihoods framework

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Geography, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Publication date: May 1, 2008

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