Accepted Paper:

Land reform, civil society and the state in Eritrea and elsewhere  
David O'Kane (Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology)

Paper short abstract:

This paper considers the relationship between land reform and politics in Eritrea by placing the debate over Eritrean land reform in a wider historical context. Contextualisation of this kind will allow us to map future options for both land reform and democratisation in Eritrea.

Paper long abstract:

Eritrea today is beset by several overlapping and unresolved economic and political problems, to which land reform could help provide a solution. The land nationalisation proposals of the Land Proclamation of 1994, however, continue to be criticised. This paper considers the relationship between land reform and politics in Eritrea by placing the debate over Eritrean land reform in a wider historical context. Contextualisation of this kind will allow us to map future options for both land reform and democratisation in Eritrea. Both authoritarian state-led land reform and so-called 'market-led land reform' have been less than successful in delivering either economic development or social justice: hence, some scholars have called for 'community-led' land reform. The delegation of power to communities, however, is not compatible with the way in which Eritrean politics has been conducted since 1991.

Panel W090
A regional crisis of global consequence: conflict and political imagination in the Horn of Africa and its diaspora