GLTN Publications

Property Theory, Metaphors and the Continuum of Land Rights

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Property Theory, Metaphors and the Continuum of Land Rights


The continuum of land rights has matured as a concept and is now widely accepted among a number of international agencies, the development community and some national governments. It has developed independently of a critical examination in terms of the vast array of established development theories, property theories and metaphors. The critical examination is needed if the concept is going to facilitate the vigorous debate necessary to improve land tenure security in ways which accommodate the numerous ideological positions on land and development. This document starts the process. It examines the continuum of land rights in terms of a sample of development theories and property theories that dominate the development agenda, and in terms of a sample of theories and metaphors which are opposite to them, and it outlines how they apply and can be used for the continuum.

Author: Michael Barry, Clarissa Augustinus

Sponsors: The Netherlands Government, the Norwegian Government and the Swedish International
Development Cooperation Agency (Sida)

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