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Property rights and governance of Africa's rangelands: A policy overview

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Recent efforts at securing property rights in dryland Africa have generally involved several interrelated processes such as legal and policy reforms that recognize and strengthen customary rights or the seasonal rights of pastoralists, and the decentralization of land allocation and administration to lower governance levels. These solutions are in turn beset by new problems, key among them are establishing norms for local participation in decision making, preventing manipulation and capture by elites, lack of accountability of local level institutions and authorities, and the onset of a new generation of resource user conflicts. Increasing avenues through which dialogue and communication can occur among policy actors (including local communities) in order to mobilize multiple experiences, information, and to manage power relationships — a collaborative approach to policy governance — is one way of approaching the complexity paradox. This is anticipated to provide opportunity for learning, innovation and adaptability.

Keywords: Africa; Complexity; Governance; Policy problem; Property rights; Rangelands

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1477-8947.2009.01219.x

Publication date: May 1, 2009

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