You are not currently logged in.
Access JSTOR through your library or other institution:
If You Use a Screen ReaderThis content is available through Read Online (Free) program, which relies on page scans. Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
The Politics of Property Rights
The American Political Science Review
Vol. 89, No. 4 (Dec., 1995), pp. 867-881
Published by: American Political Science Association
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2082514
Page Count: 15
Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Preview not available
The study of land tenure polarizes the field of development. Neoclassical scholars lobby for a move toward private property rights, while other economists and historians defend the maintenance of customary land tenure. I argue that the development scholars' focus on the structure of property rights obscures a more fundamental problem of land reform--that of enforcement. Property rights will not inspire individual investment and economic growth unless political institutions give the ruler of a local community or nation-state sufficient coercive authority to silence those who advocate an alternative, more distributionally favorable property rights system. At the same time, political institutions must force the ruler to establish a credible commitment to that property rights system. I illustrate this theoretical argument through an analysis of property rights institutions in Akyem Abuakwa, a traditional state in colonial Ghana.
The American Political Science Review © 1995 American Political Science Association