Destabilized Boundaries of Citizenship and Belonging: A Study of the Mexican Ejido
31 Pages Posted: 30 Aug 2017
Date Written: October 1, 2013
As a reaction to the land titling programs that were recommended to developing countries in the 1980s and 1990s, some development professionals and legal scholars argued that these programs privileged the market to the detriment of the social functions of property. These critics proposed land reforms that took into consideration local understandings of property rights. This article argues, however, that such critiques have too often conceived of the locality in isolation from other political units. The development of the Mexican ejido—a communal land regime under which people live and work—demonstrates that what is considered to be “local” is itself constituted by broader national and regional events. Furthermore, land regimes profoundly affect social and political capacities that, in turn, are the basis for political participation outside of the local unit. As a result, land rights reforms should not only recognize the effects of property rights on local practices but should also aim to reconcile the plurality of social and political communities to which every person belongs.
Keywords: land rights, ejido, community, political rights, land titling
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