Skip to main content
×
×
Home

Struggles over Land and Authority in Africa

  • Sara Berry
Abstract:

This article reviews major changes in policies and practices of land allocation and use in sub-Saharan Africa since ca 1990, using two comparative case studies to illustrate their implications for relations between local and national authority. One case contrasts Ghana, where intense local conflicts over land and authority did not translate into political conflict at the national level, with Côte d’Ivoire, where they did. The other compares political strategies and the influence of traditional chiefs in Ghana and South Africa.

Cet article passe en revue les changements majeurs dans les politiques et les pratiques d’affectation et d’utilisation des terres en Afrique subsaharienne depuis environ 1990, à l’aide de deux études de cas comparatifs qui illustre leurs implications dans les relations entre l’autorité locale et nationale. Un cas contraste avec le Ghana où des conflits locaux intenses des terres et l’autorité ne se sont pas traduits en conflit politique au niveau national et la Côte d’Ivoire où ils se sont produits. L’autre compare les stratégies politiques et l’influence des chefs traditionnels au Ghana et en Afrique du Sud.

Copyright
References
Hide All
Akindès, Francis. 2004. The Roots of the Political-Military Crises in Côte d’Ivoire. Research Report 128. Uppsala: Nordic Africa Institute.
Akyeampong, Emmanuel, et al., eds. 2014. Africa’s Development in Historical Perspective. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Amanor, Kojo. 1999. Land Rights and Global Restructuring in Ghana: Forest Food Chains, Timber and Rural Livelihoods. Research Report 108. Uppsala: Nordic Africa Institute.
Amanor, Kojo. 2001. Land, Labour and the Family in Southern Ghana. Research Report 116. Uppsala: Nordic Africa Institute.
Arhin, Kwame. 1986. “The Expansion of Cocoa Production: The Working Conditions of Migrant Farmers in the Central and Western Regions.”
Arhin, Kwame. 2001. Transformations in Traditional Rule in Ghana (1951–1996). Accra: Sedco.
Atuahene, Bernadette. 2016. “We Want What’s Ours”: Learning from South Africa’s Land Restitution Program. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Bayart, Jean-François. 1993. The State in Africa: The Politics of the Belly. New York: Longman.
Berry, Sara. 1988. “Concentration without Privatization? Some Agrarian Consequences of Changing Patterns of Rural Land Control in Africa.” In Land and Society in Contemporary Africa, edited by Downs, R. E. and Reyna, Steven, 5375. Hanover, N.H.: University Press of New England.
Berry, Sara. 1993. No Condition Is Permanent: The Social Dynamics of Agrarian Change in Sub-Saharan Africa. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press.
Berry, Sara. 2001. Chiefs Know Their Boundaries: Essays on Property, Power and the Past in Asante, 1896–1996. Portsmouth, N.H.: Heinemann.
Berry, Sara. 2002. “Debating the Land Question in Africa.” Comparative Studies in Society and History 44 (4): 638–68.
Boni, Stefano. 2005. Clearing the Ghanaian Forest: Theories and Practices of Acquisition, Transfer and Utilisation of Farming Titles in the Sefwi-Akan Areas. Legon: Institute of African Studies.
Boni, Stefano. 2006. “Indigenous Blood and Foreign Labor: The Ancestralisation of Land Rights in Sefwi (Ghana).” In Land and the Politics of Belonging in West Africa, edited by Kuba, Richard and Lentz, Carola, 161–86. Boston: Brill.
Boone, Catherine. 2013. “Land Regimes and the Structure of Politics: Patterns of Land-Related Conflict in Africa.” Africa 83 (1): 188203.
Boone, Catherine. 2014. Property and Political Order in Africa: Land Rights and the Structure of Politics. Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press.
Branch, Daniel. 2009. Defeating Mau Mau, Creating Kenya: Counterinsurgency, Civil War and Decolonization. Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press.
Bruce, John. 1988. “A Perspective on Indigenous Land Tenure Systems.” In Land and Society in Contemporary Africa, edited by Downs, R. E. and Reyna, Steven, 2352. Hanover, N.H.: University Press of New England.
Bruce, John, Adholla, Shem Migot, and Frank Place. 1994. Searching for Tenure Security in Africa. Dubuque, Iowa: Hunt.
Chauveau, Jean-Pierre. 2000. “La question foncière et construction nationale en Côte d’Ivoire.” Politique Africaine 78: 94125.
Chauveau, Jean-Pierre. 2002. “Une lecture sociologique de la loi ivoirienne de 1998 sur le domaine foncier.” Document de Travail 095. Montpellier, France: IRD-Unité de Recherche Regulations Foncières.
Chauveau, Jean-Pierre. 2005. “Les rapports entre générations ont une histoire: access à la terre en pays gban (Côte d’Ivoire).’’ Afrique contemporaine 2 (214): 5983.
Chauveau, Jean-Pierre. 2006. “How Does an Institution Evolve? Land, Politics, Intergenerational Relations and the Institution of the Tutorat amongst Autochthones and Immigrants.” In Land Rights and the Politics of Belonging in West Africa, edited by Kuba, Richard and Lentz, Carola, 213–40. Leiden: Brill.
Chauveau, Jean-Pierre, and Léonard, Eric. 1996. “Côte d’Ivoire’s Pioneer Fronts: Historical and Political Determinants of the Spread of Cocoa Cultivation.” In Cocoa Pioneer Fronts since 1800: The Role of Smallholders, Planters, and Merchants, edited by Clarence-Smith, W. G., 176–94. New York: St. Martins Press.
Claassens, Aninka, and Cousins, Ben, eds. 2008. Land, Power and Custom: Controversies Generated by South Africa’s Communal Land Rights Act. Athens: Ohio University Press.
Comaroff, Jean, and Comaroff, John. 2009. Ethnicity, Inc. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Cook, Susan. 2011. “The Business of Being Bafokeng.” Current Anthropology, Supplement 52 (3): S149–59.
Cotula, Lorenzo. 2009. Land Grab or Development Opportunity? London: IIED.
Cousins, Ben, et al. 2011. Imithetho Yomhlaba Yasemsinga: The Living Law of Land in Msinga, KwaZulu-Natal. Research Report 43. Cape Town: PLAAS, University of the Western Cape.
Custom Contested: Views and Voices. 2013. “Restitution of Land Rights Amendment Bill.” Cape Town: Centre for Law and Society Center, University of Cape Town. www.customcontested.ac.za.
Custom Contested: Views and Voices. 2015. “Proposed Communal Land Rights Act Could Replay 1913.” Cape Town: Centre for Law and Society Center, University of Cape Town. www.customcontested.ac.za
Derrick, Jonathan. 1984. “West Africa’s Worst Year of Famine.” African Affairs 83 (332): 281–99.
Düsing, Sandra. 2002. Traditional Leadership and Democratization in Southern Africa: A Comparative Study of Botswana, Namibia and Southern Africa. Münster: LIT.
Edelman, Mark, and Haugerud, Angelique, eds. 2005. The Anthropology of Globalization and Development: From Classical Political Economy to Contemporary Neoliberalism. Malden, Mass.: Blackwell.
Feder, Gershon, and Feeny, Daniel. 1991. “Land Tenure and Property Rights: Theory and Implications for Policy.” World Bank Economic Review 5 (1): 135–53.
Francis, Paul. 1984. “For the Use and Common Benefit of All Nigerians: Consequences of 1978 Land Nationalization.” Africa 54 (3): 328.
Gaitskell, Deborah, et al. 1983. “Class, Race and Gender: Domestic Workers in South Africa.” Review of African Political Economy 10 (27/28): 86108.
German, Laura, et al. 2013. “Contemporary Processes of Large-Scale Land Acquisition in Sub-Saharan Africa: Legal Deficiency or Elite Capture of the Rule Of Law?” World Development 48 (1): 118.
Goheen, Miriam. 1996. Men Own the Fields, Women Own the Crops: Gender and Power in the Cameroon Grassfields. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press.
Hall, Ruth, Scoones, Ian, and Tsikata, Dzodzi, eds. 2015. Africa’s Land Rush: Rural Livelihoods and Agrarian Change. Woodbridge, Suffolk, U.K.: James Currey.
Hardin, Garrett. 1968. The Tragedy of the Commons. Washington, D.C.: American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Howard, Rhoda. 1978. Colonialism and Underdevelopment in Ghana. London: Croom Helm.
Juul, Kristine, and Lund, Christian, eds. 2002. Negotiating Property in Africa. Portsmouth, N.H.: Heinemann.
Kasanga, Kasim, and Kotey, Nii Ashie. 2001. Land Management in Ghana: Building on Tradition and Modernity. London: IIED.
Kimble, David. 1963. A Political History of Ghana, 1850–1928. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
Lentz, Carola. 2006. Ethnicity and the Making of History in Northern Ghana. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
Lentz, Carola. 2013. Land, Mobility and Belonging in West Africa. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.
Lund, Christian. 2002. “Negotiating Property Institutions: On the Symbiosis of Property and Authority in Africa.” In Negotiating Property in Africa, edited by Juul, Kristine and Lund, Christian, 1144. Portsmouth, N.H.: Heinemann.
Lund, Christian. 2006. “Who Owns Bolgatanga? A Story of Inconclusive Encounters.” In Land Rights and the Politics of Belonging in West Africa, edited by Kuba, Richard and Lentz, Carola, 7798. Leiden: Brill.
Lund, Christian. 2009. Local Politics and the Dynamics of Property in Africa. Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press.
Mackenzie, Fiona. 1989. “Land and Territory: The Interface between Two Systems of Land Tenure, Murang’a District, Kenya.” Africa 59 (1): 91109.
Mamdani, Mahmood. 1996. Citizen and Subject: The Legacy of Late Colonialism in Contemporary Africa. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press.
Mamphele, Ramphela. 1993. A Bed Called Home: Life in the Migrant Labour Hostels of Cape Town. Athens: Ohio University Press.
Manson, A. 2013. “Mining and ‘Traditional Communities’ in South Africa’s ‘Platinum Belt’: Contestations over Land, Leadership and Assets in North-West Province c. 1996–2012.” Journal of Southern African Studies 39 (2): 409–23.
Mathieu, Paul, Zongo, Mahammadu, and Paré, Lacinan. 2003. “Monetary Land Transactions in Western Burkina Faso: Commoditization, Papers and Ambiguities.” In Securing Land Rights in Africa, edited by Benjaminsen, Tor and Lund, Christian, 109–28. London: Frank Cass.
Mensah Sarbah, John. 1897. Fanti Customary Law. London: William Clowes & Son.
Mkandawire, Thandika, and Soludo, Charles. 1999. Our Continent, Our Future: African Perspectives on Structural Adjustment. Dakar: Codesria.
Murray, Christina. 2004. “South Africa’s Troubled Royalty: Traditional Leaders under Democracy.” Law and Policy Paper 33. Canberra: Federation Press.
Murray, Colin. 1992. Black Mountain: Land, Class and Power in the Eastern Orange Free State. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
North, Douglass. 1990. Institutions, Institutional Change and Economic Performance. Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press.
Ntsebeza, Lungisile. 2005. Democracy Compromised: Chiefs and the Politics of Land in South Africa. Boston: Brill.
Olukoju, Ayodeji. 2014. “Accumulation and Conspicuous Consumption: The Poverty of Entrepreneurship in Western Nigeria.” In Africa’s Development in Historical Perspective, edited by Akyeampong, Emmanuel et al., 208–30. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Omotola, J. A., ed. 1982. The Land Use Act: Report of a National Workshop. Lagos: Lagos University Press.
Oomen, Barbara. 2005. Chiefs in South Africa: Law, Power and Culture in the Post-Apartheid Era. Oxford: James Currey.
Otayek, René. 1989. “Between Feeble State and Total State, the Swing Continues.” In Contemporary West African States, edited by O’Brien, Donal Cruise, Dunn, John, and Rathbone, Richard, 1330. Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press.
Otayek, René. 1996. Le Burkina entre revolution et démocratie (1983–1993). Paris: Karthala.
Peters, Pauline. 2004. “Inequality and Social Conflict over Land.” Journal of Agrarian Change 4 (3): 269–34.
Peters, Pauline. 2013. “Conflicts over Land and Threats to Customary Tenure in Africa.” African Affairs 112 (449): 543–62.
Pincus, Jonathan, and Winters, Jeffrey. 2002. Reinventing the World Bank. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press.
Platteau, Jean-Philippe. 1996. “The Evolutionary Theory of Land Rights as Applied to Sub-Saharan Africa: A Critical Assessment.” Development and Change 27 (1): 29–86.
Platzky, Laurine, and Walker, Cherryl. 1985. The Surplus People: Forced Removals in South Africa. Johannesburg: Ravan Press.
Ruf, François. 1995. “From ‘Forest Rent’ to ‘Tree Capital’: Basic ‘Laws’ of Cocoa Supply.” In Cocoa Cycles: The Economics of Cocoa Supply, edited by Ruf, F. and Siswoputranto, P. S., 1–54. Cambridge, U.K.: Woodhead.
Sorrenson, M. P. K. 1967. Land Reform in the Kikuyu Country: A Study in Government Policy. Nairobi: Oxford University Press.
Toulmin, Camilla, and Quan, Julian. 2000. Evolving Land Rights, Tenure and Policy in Africa. London: IIED.
Ubink, Janine. 2008. In the Land of the Chiefs: Customary Law, Land Conflicts, and the Role of the State in Peri-urban Ghana. Leiden: Leiden University Press.
Ubink, Janine, and Amanor, Kojo, eds. 2008. Contesting Land and Custom in Ghana: State, Chief and the Citizen. Leiden: Leiden University Press.
Van de Walle, Nicolas. 2001. African Economies and the Politics of Permanent Crisis, 1979–1999. Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press.
Van Kessel, Ineke, and van Oomen, Barbara. 1997. “‘One Chief, One Vote’: The Revival of Traditional Authorities in Post-apartheid South Africa.” African Affairs 96 (385): 561–85.
Villalon, Léonardo. 1995. Islamic Society and State Power in Senegal. Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press.
Zagré, Pascal. 1994. Les politiques économiques du Burkina Faso. Paris: Karthala.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

African Studies Review
  • ISSN: 0002-0206
  • EISSN: 1555-2462
  • URL: /core/journals/african-studies-review
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Keywords

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 10
Total number of PDF views: 123 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 452 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between 4th October 2017 - 18th July 2018. This data will be updated every 24 hours.