Conceptions, practices and power plays around the notion of tenure security: examining the land policy development and implementation process in Madagascar

Valkonen, Anni (2018) Conceptions, practices and power plays around the notion of tenure security: examining the land policy development and implementation process in Madagascar. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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Abstract

Land tenure is high on the international development agenda. A key notion in these policy debates is tenure security, which is portrayed crucial for economic growth, poverty reduction, social cohesion and governance. A gap exists, however, between conceptions of tenure security in critical development literature and its practice within land policies.

With this research, I demonstrate the complexities of the notion and the ambiguities of policies established around it. Taking the example of Malagasy land policy process, I ask how tenure security has been conceived, practiced and maintained. I ‘study through’ the policy process (Wedel and Feldman 2005), relying on concepts of policy narratives (Roe 1991), assemblages (Li 2007) and power (Gaventa 2006). I adopt qualitative, temporal and nested research approaches. I combine research from global, national and local levels, drawing on observations, semi-structured interviews and document analysis, attending to the stories of social actors linked to the policy.

The Malagasy land policy was structured around the conceptions and practices of recognition and registration of legitimate tenure rights by decentralised authorities. The policy has, however, faced institutional, operational and social challenges. By questioning the state authority and control over land, it has also become an arena for power plays. Hence, the policy has generated unintended consequences in terms of tenure security and failed to win widespread support. The research findings highlight the importance of considering tenure security in land policy from multiple perspectives throughout the process and by attending to its inherently political nature. I conclude that tenure security is an institutional matter influenced by authority, political, social, cultural, and power relations between actors at different levels. Consequently, policies should go beyond the blueprint solutions of recognition and registration of tenure rights.

Key words: Land, tenure security, policy process, policy narratives, assemblage, power, Madagascar

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > School of International Development
Depositing User: Gillian Aldus
Date Deposited: 24 Apr 2019 10:52
Last Modified: 24 Apr 2019 10:54
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/70661
DOI:

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