The political economy of land governance in Cambodia

TitleThe political economy of land governance in Cambodia
Annotated RecordNot Annotated
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsScurrah N, Hirsch P
Place PublishedVientiane
Key themesAccessToJustice, AgriculturalModernization, CivilSociety-Donors, Conversion-FoodSecurity, Dispossession-grabbing, Distribution, Environment, FDI, Formalisation-titling, MarginalisedPeople, MigrationLabour, Policy-law

Cambodia is marked by growing inequalities in wealth, reflected by unequal access to land. This is the case despite the redistribution of land in the 1980s based on household size and number of labourers. Cambodia is also characterised by limited formal recognition of land tenure in areas where potential for conflict and dispossession is greatest. In the absence of large-scale land concessions, a degree of land security is afforded by a customary tenure regime that gives farmers possession rights over cultivated land. However, such rights of possession have been insufficient to protect farmers from state sanctioned land grabbing. The granting of large land concessions to powerful actors for agribusiness and resource extraction, as well as smaller scale dispossession and accumulation by local elites, provide the key context for land grabbing and tenure insecurity



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