Sandra F. Joireman

in Where There is No Government

Published in print July 2011 | ISBN: 9780199782482
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199897209 | DOI:

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Statute law and the property rights that are actually enforced in common law Africa often diverge. Property rights are tied to authority structures, and in Africa both property and authority structures are contested. Early theoretical perspectives on property, those of Locke, Rousseau, and Proudhon, understood the inherent political nature of property rights. Yet, this linking of property and authority is often lacking in contemporary analyses of property and development. The last half of the chapter discusses contemporary theory on property rights and the “fallacy of legalism.” A brief overview of the variety of property rights enforcement mechanisms we see in Africa is presented, along with a set of criteria by which we might evaluate social institutions.

Keywords: property rights; social institutions; Sub-Saharan Africa; development; non-state actors; privately ordered institutions; law; law enforcement

Chapter.  6904 words. 

Subjects: Political Theory

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