Normative guidelines for addressing project-induced displacement and resettlement have been successful in coercing companies and practitioners to comply with international standards and local requirements. However, good practice has not always been effectively implemented, leading to reduced social wellbeing of people in local communities.
The project ‘Grounded Legitimacy’ explored how interventions in land governance by development organizations feed into the legitimacy of state and non‐state public authorities, and how these development organizations may better take ‘legitimacy’ into account. This policy note presents key findings and their implications for policy makers.
How state and customary authorities deal with land issues has important consequences for how they are viewed by citizens. This may be particularly the case in conflict-affected settings, where displacement and return cause tenure insecurity and land disputes, and where the legitimacy of state and non-state institutions is contested.
Smallholders worldwide continue to experience processes of displacement from their lands under neoliberal political-economic governance.
Civil war and violence often force large numbers of people to leave their lands. Multiple waves of displacement and (partial) return generate complex overlapping claims that are not easily solved. As people return to their regions of origin—sometimes after decades—they tend to find their land occupied by other settlers, some of whom hold legal entitlements.
Post-war societies not only have to deal with continuing unpeaceful relations but also land-related conflict legacies, farmland and forest degradation, heavily exploited natural resources, land mines, a destroyed infrastructure, as well as returning refugees and ex-combatants.
In conflict situations, many people are displaced because of hostility and arms in the area. Displaced people are forced to leave behind their properties, and this in turn interrupts the relationship between people and their land. The emergency period in particular has been identified as a weak point in the humanitarian response to land issues in post-conflict situations.
Over the coming decades, competition and conflict over land is likely to intensify with the growing pressures of climate change, population growth, increased food insecurity, migration and urbanization.
This paper examines two periods of renewal in Washington, DC, USA’s southwest quadrant and their relationship with displacement. The paper situates this discussion within both the local historical continuum and globally-recognized paradigms, such as “the right to the city”.
The rise of land deals poses unpredictable risks to war-torn societies, exposing them to the violent folds of the global economy. In Sierra Leone, commercial land leases have perpetuated the chieftaincy monopoly, further curtailed social mobility, and sparked particular resentment among youths and ex-combatants.