Post-dam land property dynamics of the Manāṣīr in Kabna Al-Fūqqara

Dirar, Azza (2023) Post-dam land property dynamics of the Manāṣīr in Kabna Al-Fūqqara. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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Dams almost inevitably displace communities from their lands. Yet despite extensive research, there is virtually no research on cases where displaced people reject formal resettlement in favour of self-directed resettlement. Furthermore, there has also been very little research addressing adaptive responses of land tenures, rights and relations in such contexts.
This study addresses this research gap through investigating the land property adaptations amongst the Manāṣīr people displaced by the Merowe dam in 2008. A large proportion of the Manāṣir elected to stay around the dam’s reservoir, remaining rooted to their homeland. Through a contextualised ethnographic case study methodology, focusing on the hamlet of Kabna al-Fūqqara located towards the tail end of the reservoir, this research explores the land property dynamics of their informal (re)settlement.
The methodological approach adapted the analytical framework of property developed by F. von Benda-Beckmann, K. von Benda-Beckmann and Wiber (2006) which distinguishes between categorical property, visible at the legal/institutional layer of social organisation and refers to property rules and norms, and concretised property which relates to the actual ‘lived’ property relations on the ground.
The analysis reveals how adaptations occur at both these layers of property in complex, interrelated ways. The concrete actions and social practices of inhabitants in reserving and reclaiming the unoccupied wastelands above their hamlets are the primary means through which adaptations are pursued. These actions are informed by existing categorical customary rules and norms and in turn reform and update these norms. As a result, new categorical land rights are in the process of emerging. The customary institutional mechanisms which underlie these dynamics, while flexible and enabling, are pursued in the context of a wider legal/institutional rupture. The findings reveal the complexity underlying the processes of concrete property making and the wider, more contested, dynamics of ‘institution-making’ concerning the emergence of law.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Global Development (formerly School of International Development)
Depositing User: Nicola Veasy
Date Deposited: 30 Oct 2023 08:46
Last Modified: 30 Oct 2023 08:46

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