The Invisible Line: Land Reform, Land Tenure Security and Land Registration, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Invisible Line

Land Reform, Land Tenure Security and Land Registration, 1st Edition

By Henri A.L. Dekker


240 pages

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Paperback: 9781138258709
pub: 2016-10-19
Hardback: 9780754636373
pub: 2003-10-22
eBook (VitalSource) : 9781315238890
pub: 2017-03-02
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During the past two decades, there has been a resurgence of interest in issues of land reform in developing and transitional countries. This has been initiated by the large-scale re-distributive activities in former communist countries and by the growing number of claims by displaced indigenous population groups to restore their rights to land. This book provides a timely and clear overview of the historical and theoretical context of current land reform and tenure issues. Illustrated with global case studies from Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America, key sections explore land and rights to land, property, land tenure and reform, and land registration. Beginning by discussing the need to demarcate space by creating 'invisible lines' - which give certainty to what extent authority over land can be established - the book then explores legal and theoretical definitions of 'land' and 'property' and looks at the various different policies and forms of land tenure. One of the most recent developments in land reform policy has been to look to traditional forms of access to land and of resource conservation. The book argues that, while such policies on land property rights have great potential, they are best being adopted in a long-term, incremental way. It also shows how land policy reforms must be embedded in institutional and general policy reforms, complemented by rural development and educational opportunities for beneficiaries. The book summarises the main principles of land reform activities and practices and argues that the perception of land tenure security is the most critical factor of success to land reform.


’For decades, land reform consultants visited developing countries to shop around with uniform and rather technical schemes to improve agrarian production by means of private ownership and western registration of title. The string of failures of this recipe shocked the author of this book, himself a life long expert in land title registration. His practical mind and his deep concern for the poor urged him to completely rethink land reform, by taking local variety of tenure, including communal (customary) tenure, as a starting point and by going for flexible approaches. The book shows a happy combination of concern, practical experience and scholarly debate, mixed together to show us how land tenure, law and registration can better meet the great challenge of today, finding news ways to promote food security for the poor.’ A.J. Hoekema, University of Amsterdam, Netherlands ’Dekker provides a comprehensive treatment of one of the most controversial topics in the literature on socioeconomic development-land reform. It is important reading for anyone concerned with issues of equity and economic efficiency in development. Those overly enthusiastic about the promise of land reform will be sobered by the reality of past failures. However, those who see no need to promote broad-based socioeconomic development will find their beliefs challenged. Dekker provides a refreshingly even handed and balanced approach.’ Professor Stanley R. Thompson, Ohio State University, USA ’…the most comprehensive treatise of various aspects of land tenure, land reform and land registration available…the book is written clearly and comprehensively…a welcome addition with a great deal of information on a subject that is very important although many people are unfamiliar with it…it is a fine book and will hopefully be widely distributed and read by many people.’ Quarterly Journal of International Agriculture ’Though its breadth and analysis make it valuable to anyone inte

Table of Contents

Contents: Invisible lines; Land and rights to land; Property; Land tenure; Land reform; Land registration; Specific aspects of land registration; Bibliography; Glossary; Index; Annex A.

About the Author

Dr Henri A.L. Dekker is a Senior Consultant for Land Tenure and Real Property Data Management.

About the Series

International Land Management Series

International Land Management Series
This series is designed to encourage a study of the complex issues of land management in an international context and to emphasise the multi-disciplinary nature of land management. The key areas for the series will range widely from the concepts of environmental issues of sustainable land development, the acquisition of data, methodologies and a comparative analysis of current practices, the management of land information systems, land conservation, aspects concerning the regulation and legislation of land management, to human and social issues of land management.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Freedom & Security / Civil Rights