This article proposes an analytic framework to describe variation in forms of land-related conflict that emerge in widely varying circumstances and settings. Focusing on conflict among smallholders, the article suggests that these social processes can often be thought of as redistributive conflicts that are shaped by the land tenure regimes that govern land access and allocation. Land tenure regimes can be conceptualized schematically as constituted by rules about property, authority, jurisdiction and citizenship, and as differentiated along these dimensions. They define a locus of political authority over land rights at the local level, a territorial arena, social groups with different land rights and interests, and the distribution of political and economic powers and rights among them. These arrangements vary across space and over time, shaping the political arenas in which land rights are contested and producing different forms of land-related conflict. In many situations, these dimensions of land regimes are blurred, layered and changing, adding additional dimensions of complexity to land politics that the analysis proposed here may help to illuminate.