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Land Tenure

  • By: Jon Unruh
  • In: Encyclopedia of Geography
  • Edited by: Barney Warf
  • Subject:General Geography, Earth & Environmental Science

Land tenure, or rural property rights, can be defined in several ways. The terms generally concern the ways in which “social relations relate to land use and ownership.” One popular way to view land tenure is as a bundle of rights within a society or community. In such a bundle, rights can be added, removed, or divided to create a very wide variety of rights to land and land-based resources. While land rights are often thought to be produced by titles, deeds, registries, and leases, in reality these are artifacts of a system that involves enforcement, dispute resolution, evidence, identity, forms of logic, institutional formation and operation, and derivation and maintenance of authority and legitimacy. The relevance of land tenure to geography lies in its ...

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