The Politics of Possession: Property, Authority, and Access to Natural Resources
January 2010, Wiley-Blackwell
- Includes some of the latest theoretical work on the dynamics of access and property and how they are joined to questions of power and authority
- Explores how access to resources is often contested and rife with conflict, particularly in post-colonial and post-socialist countries
- Offers a thought-provoking approach to the study of everyday processes of state formation
- Shows how the process of seeking authorization for property claims works to legitimize the authorizers, and the efforts undertaken by politico-legal institutions to gain legitimacy underpin and undermine various claims of access and property
- Contributors explore from a wide empirical compass of original research spanning Latin America, Africa, South-East Asia, and Eastern Europe
1. Access and Property: A Question of Power and Authority (Thomas Sikor, University of East Anglia and Christian Lund, Roskilde University, Denmark).
2. Property, Authority and Citizenship: Land Claims, Politics and the Dynamics of Social Division in West Africa (Sara Berry, Johns Hopkins University).
3. Rubber Erasures, Rubber Producing Rights: Making Racialized Territories in West Kalimantan, Indonesia (Nancy Lee Peluso, University of California, Berkeley).
4. Ruling by Record: The Meaning of Rights, Rules and Registration in an Andean Comunidad (Monique Nuijten, Wageningen University and David Lorenzo, Roskilde University, Denmark).
5. Authority over Forests: Empowerment and Subordination in Senegal’s Democratic Decentralization (Jesse C. Ribot, University of Illinois).
6. Recategorizing ‘Public’ and ‘Private’ Property in Ghana (Christian Lund, Roskilde University, Denmark).
7. Land Access and Titling in Nicaragua (Rikke B. Broegaard, Danish Institute for International Studies).
8. Negotiating Post-Socialist Property and State: Struggles over Forests in Albania and Romania (Thomas Sikor, University of East Anglia; Johannes Stahl, University of California, Berkeley; and Stefan Dorondel, Humboldt University Berlin).
9. Property and Authority in a Migrant Society: Balinese Irrigators in Sulawesi, Indonesia (Dik Roth, Wageningen University).
Christian Lund is Professor in International Development Studies at Roskilde University, Denmark. He is the author of Local Politics and the Dynamics of Property in Africa (2008) and Law, Power, and Politics in Niger - Land Struggles and the Rural Code (1998). He is the editor and co-editor of Twilight Institutions: Public Authority and Local Politics in Africa (2007), and Negotiating Property in Africa (2002).
–James Fairhead, University of Sussex
‘Who gets to determine the legitimacy of claims and rights
over property and resources? Any answer to this question must be
sensitive to the varied forms by which societies organize and
institutionalise access to and control over resources whether this
be among peasant communities in Indonesia forests or in the
slumworld of Mumbai or Lagos. But equally important is a full
accounting of the forms of authority by which rights are conferred
and relatedly how these forms of authority have limits and are
invariably contested, fought over (often violently), disputed and
reformed (even overturned). The ways in which authority, power and
property are always inseparably linked strikes to the heart of
Politics of Possession. Sikor and Lund have drawn together the
leading theorists working on the property and natural resource
question. The chapters are a brave and innovative mix of conceptual
innovation, thick description and comparative insight. A
pathbreaking and foundational book.’
–Michael Watts, University of California, Berkeley