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Kastom, property and ideology: Land transformations in Melanesia

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ISBN: 9781760461058 Year: DOI: 10.22459/KPI.03.2017 Language: English
Publisher: ANU Press
Subject: Political Science --- Social Sciences --- Medicine (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2017-05-04 11:01:49
License: ANU Press

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Abstract

The relationship between customary land tenure and ‘modern’ forms of landed property has been a major political issue in the ‘Spearhead’ states of Melanesia since the late colonial period, and is even more pressing today, as the region is subject to its own version of what is described in the international literature as a new ‘land rush’ or ‘land grab’ in developing countries. This volume aims to test the application of one particular theoretical framework to the Melanesian version of this phenomenon, which is the framework put forward by Derek Hall, Philip Hirsch and Tania Murray Li in their 2011 book, Powers of Exclusion: Land Dilemmas in Southeast Asia. Since that framework emerged from studies of the agrarian transition in Southeast Asia, the key question addressed in this volume is whether ‘land transformations’ in Melanesia are proceeding in a similar direction, or whether they take a somewhat different form because of the particular nature of Melanesian political economies or social institutions. The contributors to this volume all deal with this question from the point of view of their own direct engagement with different aspects of the land policy process in particular countries. Aside from discussion of the agrarian transition in Melanesia, particular attention is also paid to the growing problem of land access in urban areas and the gendered nature of landed property relations in this region.

Keywords

land policy --- land tenure --- melanesia

Customary Land Tenure and Registration in Australia

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Book Series: Asia-Pacific Environment Monograph ISBN: 9781921313271 Year: Pages: 306 DOI: 10.26530/OAPEN_458933 Language: English
Publisher: ANU Press
Subject: Anthropology
Added to DOAB on : 2012-06-14 11:46:24
License: ANU Press

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The main theme of this volume is a discussion of the ways in which legal mechanisms, such as the Land Groups Incorporation Act (1974) in PNG, and the Native Title Act (1993) in Australia, do not, as they purport, serve merely to identify and register already-existing customary indigenous landowning groups in these countries. Because the legislation is an integral part of the way in which indigenous people are defined and managed in relation to the State, it serves to elicit particular responses in landowner organisation and self-identification on the part of indigenous people. These pieces of legislation actively contour the progressive evolution of landowner social, territorial and political organisation at all levels in these nation states. The contributors to this volume provide in-depth anthropological case studies of social structural and cultural transformations engendered by the confrontation between states, developers and indigenous communities over rights to customarily owned land.

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