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Land, Law and Politics in Africa: Mediating Conflict and Reshaping the State

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This volume presents a wide selection of studies on the issues of law, land dispute and conflict (mediation) in Africa, reconsidering the role of state agents and other actors in these matters. The focus is on analyzing how citizens, state institutions and concerned (inter)national actors aim to find solutions to disputes, tension and conflict that are part of social life. This volume presents a wide selection of studies on the issues of law, land dispute and conflict (mediation) in Africa, reconsidering the role of state agents and other actors in these matters. The focus is on analyzing how citizens, state institutions and concerned (inter)national actors aim to find solutions to disputes, tension and conflict that are part of social life. The authors have approached the subject of Land, Law and Politics in Africa from a variety of disciplinary angles. The issues at stake comprise land access and land use, state politics and democratization efforts, the relationship between constitutional/state law and customary law, the challenges of urban and rural conflicts, border issues and the conceptions of (human) rights. On the basis of new empirical studies, the authors plead for a more holistic perspective on the above issues and on developmental policy in general. The book has 15 chapters in four thematic parts, focusing on historical and cultural aspects of politics and authority; land law and land disputes; constitutionalism and politics; and conflict studies. The volume is also a tribute to the work of Gerti Hesseling (1946-2009), a Dutch Africanist with a successful career as a scholar of constitutional and land law, focusing on West Africa.


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This volume presents a wide selection of studies on the issues of law, land dispute and conflict (mediation) in Africa, reconsidering the role of state agents and other actors in these matters. The focus is on analyzing how citizens, state institutions and concerned (inter)national actors aim to find solutions to disputes, tension and conflict that are part of social life. This volume presents a wide selection of studies on the issues of law, land dispute and conflict (mediation) in Africa, reconsidering the role of state agents and other actors in these matters. The focus is on analyzing how citizens, state institutions and concerned (inter)national actors aim to find solutions to disputes, tension and conflict that are part of social life. The authors have approached the subject of Land, Law and Politics in Africa from a variety of disciplinary angles. The issues at stake comprise land access and land use, state politics and democratization efforts, the relationship between constitutional/state law and customary law, the challenges of urban and rural conflicts, border issues and the conceptions of (human) rights. On the basis of new empirical studies, the authors plead for a more holistic perspective on the above issues and on developmental policy in general. The book has 15 chapters in four thematic parts, focusing on historical and cultural aspects of politics and authority; land law and land disputes; constitutionalism and politics; and conflict studies. The volume is also a tribute to the work of Gerti Hesseling (1946-2009), a Dutch Africanist with a successful career as a scholar of constitutional and land law, focusing on West Africa.

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