Land Reform Revisited

As global pressure on land rises and its distribution becomes more equal, there is a growing call for greater attention to the role land distribution plays in transforming feudal societies into egalitarian, democratic nations. Many countries are now revisiting land rights and distribution through both large-scale and micro, market-driven policies. Despite a tumultuous past of failed agrarian reform, many Latin American governments are once again promoting redistributive policies such as land reform. At the same time analyses of the reasons for the resounding economic success of East Asian countries over the past twenty years have identified land reform as a major tool for restructuring societies and stimulating long-term economic growth. In its latest white paper, the Hakí Network analyzes and contrasts the past, divergent land reform movements in Asia and Latin America with an eye toward informing contemporary reforms and strengthening land rights for the poor and marginalized. The paper identifies five core elements that have distinguished success from failure – 1) inclusive policies, 2) discrete land ownership/rights, 3) clear, marketable title to land, 4) democratic redistribution mechanisms and 5) post-distribution extension support.

Land Reform Revisited_Haki White Paper Series