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Conflicts Over Land & Water in Africa: Cameroon, Ghana, Burkina Faso, West Africa, Sudan, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Tanzania
edited by Bill Derman, Rie Odgaard and Espen Sjaastad
Michigan State University Press, 2007
Paper: 978-0-87013-816-4
Library of Congress Classification HD966.C68 2007
Dewey Decimal Classification 333.316


This is an examination of the broader context for the re-emergence of land reform and resource conflicts in Africa. Efforts to change the race based systems of land ownership and land tenure in Namibia, South Africa, and Zimbabwe have pushed land issues to the forefront of social and economic discourses in Africa. This collection examines the broader context for the re-emergence of land reform and resource conflicts.
     The case studies examine the links between identity maintenance, tenurial changes, state intervention, and forms and modes of conflict. The authors emphasize the need for a deeper understanding of local histories, cultures, and motivations if efforts to attain a more just distribution of resources are to succeed. The book contributes to a field that has been developing rapidly in the decade since the publication of Melissa Leach and Robin Mearns' collection The Lie of the Land and Mahmood Mamdani's Citizen and Subject. Those two books started a wide ranging discussion of the political reasons for failed development in Africa, as well as the environmental and natural resource dimensions of that failure.

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