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RE‐INVENTING TRADITIONAL LAND TENURE IN THE ERA OF LAND COMMODITIZATION: SOME CONSEQUENCES IN PERIURBAN NORTHERN GHANA

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ABSTRACT.

In northern Ghana periurban areas are encroaching on rural areas and agricultural land ends up being sold for residential purposes mainly by chiefs and “earth” priests. The changing customary land tenure systems have generated a state of uncertainty and tension as the title and responsibilities of titleholders are subject to the interpretation by those who administer custom. Increasing commodification is taking place that benefits an emerging political‐traditional and economic elite. The centralized systems restrict the benefits of the commoditization process mainly to chiefs and their collaborators, whiles acephalous systems allow more space for objections and struggles by those whose land is expropriated. Neoliberal development policies have shaped the commodification of land and entrenched existing socio‐economic inequalities that marginalize the poor who are unable to seize the opportunities of the emerging urban economy.
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Document Type: Research Article

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Publication date: December 1, 2012

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