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Conferencia: Desigualdad regional y reforma agraria en África


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El lunes 6 de noviembre de 2017 organizamos una conferencia en la Fundación Ramón Areces sobre la desigualdad regional y reforma agraria en África. Expuesta por Catherine Boone es profesora de Política Comparada en la London School of Economics y Political Science, habiéndose formado en la U. de California y el MIT. Ha sido miembro de la Junta de Directores de la Asociación de Estudios Africanos (ASA), secretaria del African Politics Conference Group y presidenta de la West African Research Association. En la actualidad es presidenta de la Iniciativa APSA-ASA para África y miembro del consejo asesor de la Red Africana de Consolidación de la Paz del SSRC. Su investigación se ha centrado en políticas industriales, comerciales y relativas a la tenencia de la tierra en África Occidental.

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Conferencia: Desigualdad regional y reforma agraria en África

  1. 1. Regional Inequality and Land Law Reform in Africa Catherine Boone, LSE 6 November 2017
  2. 2. Outline I. Land law reform in African countries II. Conceptualizing land institutions and the stakes of reform III. Land policy choices IV. The structure of political institutions V. Preferences in contexts of (rising) inequality VI. Hypotheses and cases: Côte d’Ivoire, Uganda, Kenya, Burkina …
  3. 3. I. Land Law Reform in African Countries About 2-10% of arable land in countries of sub-Saharan Africa is held under private title. And in most countries today, ~60-70% of the population is in the rural areas. Long histories of state land activism make this an intensely politicized terrain of policy action. Large rural electorates and core-periphery dynamics heighten the salience of land law and land policy.
  4. 4. Many countries have now committed to comprehensive registration and titling: Côte d’Ivoire 1998: register and title all land by 2023 Uganda 1998: comprehensive registration titling Kenya 2012: register and title all land by 2022 Burkina 2012: comprehensive registration and titling Malawi 2016: Customary Land Act for comprehensive registration Tanzania 2016: reform aims at comprehensive registration and titling Whose land it is anyway? 1814/15 Enclosure Acts in Stansfield. Hebdenbridgeweb, 6 April 2014.
  5. 5. Well specified property rights are defined as a “public good.” Experts expected little by way of divergent interests around land law reform. But this has not been the case… Why is there conflict over registration and titling? What is the structure of interests/preferences and of bargaining over land law? How to compare across countries?
  6. 6. Proposed analytic strategy: -- Distribution of interests (entitlements) -- Pattern of inequality: Will argue that patterns of inequality across and within regions drive divergence in preferences over land policy (in 2 dimensions) (Beramendi 2007, 2012). -- Structure of political representation (territorial, fragmented, veto players) Land registration and titling as redistributive politics, creating winners and losers in the move away from status quo.
  7. 7. II. Land Institutions and Land Policy Reform: What is at stake? Status quo ante: neocustomary land tenure regimes. Systems of political hierarchy and entitlement forge “social contract.” States are owners of all untitled land. Most states divide most territory into ethnic homelands wherein state-recognized members of state-recognized ethnic groups A, B, C, D…) have an entitlement in principle to access unmortgaged, untaxed land. Local allocation on the basis of local citizenship. States enforce. Group A controls the state.
  8. 8. Figure 2.1. “Tribal Territories of Zambia,” c. 1935-1975 "For the African inhabitants of Northern Rhodesia, a rather different map was drawn up, clearly demarcating, and distinguishing by contrasting colours, the various 'tribal' areas into which the territory was administratively divided; the assumption was that these divisions coincided with linguistic and cultural distinctions, thus reifying (through the binary opposition of ethnic names) cultural gradients that were in fact much more continuous, in most cases. Anthropologists used this map with the same enthusiasm as administrators.... [T]he map was uncritically reprinted in post-colonial times by the Zambian Survey Department, the country's official producer of maps.. " (Manchester School Photo essay by Wim van Binsbergen, posted at, 10 Dec. 09).
  9. 9. IRD, ORSTOM (Abidjan: RCI Imprimerie Nationale, 1979)
  10. 10. II. Land Institutions and Land Policy Reform (con’t) Political character: Neocustomary land tenure regimes work to decommodify land and labor, provide social safety net, divide territory among groups, permit an iota of group political autonomy. ~ Ethnic entitlements “substitute” for a fiscal allocation in weak [cash-poor] states.
  11. 11. Dynamics: As as entitlement regime, the neocustomary LTRs target future allocations of resources (land). This limits growth of landlessness among ethnic insiders; limits future possibility of radical alteration in the structure of group-based [land] inequality; constrains/crowds out future allocations of land by the state. What constrains Group A from reneging? -- all at once? unlikely -- incrementally. It is possible for Group A to renege on one group of citizens only (eg. Group B), since the entitlement is divisible. Because of this, groups are incentivized to remain politically-mobilized (Azam 2001, 2012).
  12. 12. III. Land policy choices Indiv. registration and titling is a dramatic departure from the status quo. Will countries maintain the decommodifying entitlements, and present patterns of land allocation at the family, community, and inter-group levels (ie., the present structure of inter-group [land] inequality)? Or, embrace the market? Choice is two-dimensional: market-restraining vs. market-promoting policy, and regional vs. national land-administration institutions.
  13. 13. III. Land policy choices Questions re: land market policy and central vs. regional land administration institutions are being decided simultaneously. market-promoting World Bank regional national policy; segmented policy (homogenous); market; national market, weak centre strong centre decommodifying; protectionist market-constraining
  14. 14. IV. Preferences Significant heterogeneity re: land policy preferences will stem from political and economic inequality. African countries are marked by high levels of inter-personal inequality (very high national Ginis). Hakura and Deitrich, Inequality in SSA, IMF 2015
  15. 15. R: Total light density inequality over time (by Gini), L: Relative contributions of between and within subnational unit inequality. Source: Mveyange, A. UNU-Wider 2015: 39 The territorial structure of inequality is also salient: most countries marked by very high levels cross-regional inequality (Lessman 2013 calculates 3-4 x US average CoV for reg’l GDP per capita).
  16. 16. Linke, Andrew. 16 April 2016; Kenya Pop. Data at Geography of inequality within Kenya (DHS poverty, 2015): Weathy center, poor peripheries Very high and rising land inequality with ~68% population in rural areas. 2/3 rural farmers believe the land they own is not sufficient for their children.
  17. 17. Preferences (con’t) Interpersonal and inter-regional inequality  Rich vs. poor regions Rich and poor persons (families) in each region Market-promoting policies benefit those who will be strong market actors. Markets will work over time to redistribute land – ie, to concentrate land-ownership in the hands of those with capital (and political advantages). The losers are likely to be those who depend upon existing entitlements. Inequality drives divergence in land policy preferences. Political inequality also shapes preferences and political strategy.
  18. 18. V. Structure of political institutions Territorially fragmented political systems, with regional representation and strong core-periphery structure. Devolution increases the fragmentation of political structure. SMD (winner-take-all) or mixed electoral systems, mostly. These features magnify the political salience of geographically- concentrated constituencies with shared interests and collective action capacity. We can analyze countries as territorially- fragmented political unions (~federal systems) with strong regional inequalities (Beramendi 2007, 2012). Partisanship: Regions are aligned with incumbent or not.
  19. 19. V. Hypotheses Poor Regions Rich Regions Preferences I. Poor region, opposition II. Poor region, aligned with incumbent III. Rich region, opposition IV. Rich region, aligned with incumbent 1. market restraining or promoting? restraining restraining promoting promoting 2. regionally- segmented or unified market segmented segmented national national 3. eminent domain: strong or weak center weak strong weak (will seek a federal solution) strong 4. poor vs. rich person: do interests diverge or converge on mkt promotion? converge converge diverge diverge
  20. 20. V. Hypotheses Poor Regions Rich Regions Preferences I. Poor region, opposition II. Poor region, aligned with incumbent III. Rich region, opposition IV. Rich region, aligned with incumbent 1. market restraining or promoting? restraining restraining promoting promoting 2. regionally- segmented or unified market segmented segmented national national 3. eminent domain: strong or weak center weak strong weak (will seek a federal solution) strong 4. poor vs. rich person: do interests diverge or converge on mkt promotion? converge converge diverge diverge 5. strategy/ scenario defensive ethno- regionalism offensive ethno- regionalism (?) class tension tempered by region's defensive position class tenion with region on the ethno- national offensive
  21. 21. Arguments emerging from Table 1 -- Interests around land law reform diverge across regions (and classes). Why? Due to high levels of inequality, the costs and benefits of land commodification will be highly unevenly distributed. -- Regional interests likely to predominate. Evidence? Case-based indications of plausibility: Resistance to titling in poor regions of Kenya, Côte d’Ivoire, Uganda, Burkina Faso. Embrace of titling by salaried investors in regions of highly commercialized agriculture. Factional, partisan, inter-agency, legal conflict over the contents of policy and institutional design.
  22. 22. Cases: Kenya: Under devolution and the Kenya Land Law of 2012: -- Politics in Kiambu, central Kenya. The rich and powerful pursue a process of land commodification in overdrive. High levels of landless and (lumpen) proletarization generate acute class tensions. Wealthy pursue aggressive land purchasing and privatization of state land country-wide. -- Northern districts (Isiolo, Turkana, Laikipai): Struggles to control community land and block expropriation by either central state or private actors. Control over regional land institutions is critical. Regional elites pulled between lure of cooptation and desire to retain their political bases among community-land-dependent pastoralists. Uganda: Buganda vs. North Côte d’Ivoire: W. [and N.] vs. south-center and SE
  23. 23. Conclusions -- Status quo social contracting in African countries has tended to constrain commodification of land and “freeze” spatial inequalities. -- Regional inequalities are extreme. Territorial fragmentation of political systems institutionalizes cleavages arising from them. -- In spite of stated goals of land policies, governments are unlikely to push for universal registration and titling (due to fear of backlash). --Low-[land] commodification, high cross-regional inequality equilibria? -- Collective action problems (territorial cleavages, distrust of predatory government) may stymie bargaining around and tenure reform. We can expect much future conflict in this political domain.
  24. 24. Geography: Variation across space in endowment. Only about 25% is high quality arable land. Rainfall patterns are uneven in space and time.
  25. 25. Case 1: Kenya 2017 Laikipia land invasions 2017: long-titled land vs. Samburu claims. Many deaths. Extensive destruction of property and wildline. Regional and national leaders of opposition ODM party back communal claims. Communal Land Bill of 2016 enmired in controversy. VoA News, Six Police Killed in Central Kenya where drought fuels violence. 2 July 2017