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The MDB as Mid-Wife

Delivering Property Rights Reform

John W. Bruce

Maio 2007, inglês

Competition for land is pervasive in the developing world, and competition can become conflict, sometimes violent conflict, where rules are unclear or a rule-of-law environment does not exist. While competition for land is a critical cause of such conflict, many conflicts over land have broader political dimensions and resonate at deeper levels, making them particularly difficult to resolve. The content of these disputes is not constant however, but shifts with changing uses and new values of land. This paper asks how the land conflicts of the 21st century might differ from those of recent decades, how the environment in which they will take place is changing in ways that will affect them and their resolution, and what we have learned on an institutional, legal and process level about managing such conflicts. The paper will discuss the international experience, but will draw heavily on African case studies to develop some of its points.