State property vs. customary ownership: a comparative framework in West Africa

Dolcerocca A. P. C.

Journal of Peasant Studies, 2021 (Journal Indexed in SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume:
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/03066150.2021.1907353
  • Title of Journal : Journal of Peasant Studies
  • Keywords: Customary rights, rural land, state property, legal pluralism, French West Africa, land reforms


© 2021 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.This article examines relations between state and customary land claims in Francophone West Africa. This region, despite a broadly common legal heritage at the time of independence, experienced a wide variety of changes at the national scale to the point where these countries now form a full spectrum of statutory/customary relations. After a historical review of rural property rights in Francophone West Africa, this article proposes a typology of State vs. Customary ownership in the region with a focus on four exemplary cases: Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Senegal, and Mauritania.