|عنوان فارسی مقاله:||مالکیت و دسترسی به زمین در نیکاراگوئه|
|عنوان انگلیسی مقاله:||Land Access and Titling in Nicaragua|
|رشته های مرتبط:||مدیریت|
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|نشریه||بلک ول (Blackwell)|
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Despite the overreaching importance that the international donor community places on formal land titles as part of the process for securing property rights, improving the functioning of the land market and ensuring pro-poor development, little attention is given to the specific ways in which factors such as inequality and abuses of public office mediate or even negate the expected effect of land titles. Based on empirical data from Nicaragua, this article shows that the state system is costly and does not provide a level playing field. In addition to land titles, different actions are used to secure property rights, drawing on other authorities which represent plural sources of recognition of land rights. Furthermore, the study shows that land transactions are often not followed up with titling and inscription in the name of the new owner, especially not among the poorest landowners. This has implications for future land titling policies. INTRODUCTION Property rights to land are once again on the development agenda. In recent years important actors within the development assistance arena, such as the World Bank and US-financed Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) have promoted large-scale land administration programmes encompassing legal reforms, cadastral surveys and titling activities 1 . Further, the World Bank has recently developed new policy guidelines (Deininger, 2003). The legalization and titling of land rights are considered essential to obtaining land tenure security and stimulating investments in land, as well as to im- proving the functioning of the land market. The latter is increasingly being proposed as a way to build a more dynamic agricultural and rural sector in developing countries (Carter, 2006; Deininger, 2003).
The argument for promoting the titling of property rights is that titles increase tenure security for the land owner, as well as for potential credit institutions. This is expected to increase the value of the land itself, as well as improving access to credit (see, for example, Carter and Chamorro, 2000, on findings from Nicaragua). Furthermore, it is anticipated that increased tenure security and improved access to credit will raise the level of investment in land, as well as further increasing land value (Feder et al., 1988). In response to the improved level of information on property rights (through titles and cadastral and registry systems), land market transaction costs are said to be reduced. Finally, legal reforms associated with land administration projects often remove any restrictions related to the alienability of land, in order to make the land market more dynamic and fluid. This article analyses the titling of rural land in the north-western part of Nicaragua. 2 It aims to provide insights for an improved understanding of inequality in the land registration process and of how differently-positioned actors are able/unable to turn land claims into property rights recognized by the state. It also illustrates how this process is conditioned by the nature of power and authority relations. Following decades of state-led land reform up to the mid-1990s, the land market in Nicaragua is increasingly becoming an important arena for accessing land. This article examines the importance of formal titles in land transactions, as well as the impact of land transac- tions on the titling status of the land (including the cadastral and registral information). Finally, it explores the different combinations of authorities that are used to endorse land rights and to settle conflicts related to land. Conceptually, the article contributes to the discussion about property rights to land by arguing that tenure security and the role of land titling in many developing countries cannot be understood without an understanding of le- gal pluralism, which ultimately allows strong actors to influence in which forum a dispute is handled.