International Development Planning Review

Security of tenure in international development discourse

International Development Planning Review (2013), 35, (4), 315–333.

Abstract

The global campaign for secure land tenure is being championed by the international development community through the world development agencies which advocate a particular interpretation of ‘security of tenure’. Yet, this article shows that there are many meanings of secure tenure and multiple ways of ensuring that tenure is secure. It suggests that, by ignoring other legal, economic and social interpretations and mechanisms for enhancing security of tenure, and advocating one reductionist view, the world development agencies may be reinforcing other forms of deprivation. Researchers and policy-makers need to maintain a more critical perspective on the particular understanding of security of land tenure adopted by the world development agencies.

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Obeng-Odoom, Franklin

Stilwell, Frank