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Publication Detail
PJD 2001 Vol. XXVIII No. 2-c: Questioning de Soto: The Case of Uganda

The 1995 constitution vested land in the Citizens of Uganda. Accordingly, in 1998, the Parliament passed a law to re-regulate the myriad land relations accreted from past and contemporary de jure laws and de facto practices. The Land Act of 1998 manifests 100 years of contest over the land and governance in Uganda; a contest made contemporary by Hernando de Soto’s book (2000), The Mystery of Capital: Why Capitalism Triumphs in the West and Fails Everywhere Else. This paper argues that governmentalities associated with land law articulate an unending teleology of development in which land has always been crucial. In sustaining the tradition from a past tradition to a modern future, an equivalence is constantly created and reaffirmed with what is and what ought to be. Imprisoned by the normative dualisms of past and future, is and ought, tradition and modern, orthodox discourse about land distorts “here and now” lived realities. Uganda’s route to formalization underscores an evolving process whereby the Land Act of 1998 affirmed what was inevitable. Yet implementation is proving slow and difficult.

Philippine Institute for Development Studies
Authors Keywords
Porter, Raewyn Isabel; land use planning; land management; housing sector;
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Published in 2001 and available in the PIDS Library or Downloaded 977 times since November 25, 2011
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