Land, Property and Conflict

Rule of Law, Democracy & Human Rights

Course Overview

Land and property issues, including their access to, control over, and use of all related resources, are commonly among the drivers of conflict and violence. During the conflict, land is not only art of the physical battleground but its control and conquer is symbolic of power and gain. It is used as a tool to score political points, fund war efforts, mobilize popular support and build alliances; while its spoilage or occupation strategically undermines opponents.
Land, property and related resources are also used as highly political pawns in peace negotiations and post-conflict recovery. Land and property
grievances, whether new or old, and their mismanagement, can threaten or unravel a hard-won peace.

Course Objectives

• Identify a range of complex land and property disputes and assess their relation to a particular conflict;
• Understand the various mandates and entry points of international actors with regard to land and property disputes;
• Assess the desirability of a range of intervention options for addressing land and property disputes in a given context;
• Apply lessons learned from several case studies of complex conflict-related land and property disputes;
• Understand and apply over-arching “principles of engagement” to interventions related to land and property disputes.

Course Outline

INTERNATIONAL ACTORS AND MANDATES

  • Map the range of international actors engaged in land and property issues
  • Understand the various mandates, perspectives and entry points of these actors and how this has evolved

NATIONAL ACTORS AND FRAMEWORKS

  • Map the national actors engaged on land and property issues
  • Understand different national legal frameworks for land and property, including customary law and legal pluralism 

INSECURE TENURE

  • Explore how tenure insecurity can lead to conflict
  • Understand forms and causes of tenure insecurity
  • Case studies: Sudan, Kenya, China

FORCED MIGRATION AND DISPLACEMENT

  • Understand forced migration and displacement in conflict
  • Explore the land and property aspects of displacement and return
  • Critically assess the emerging international legal framework 
  • Case Study: Forestry and Conflict in Liberia 

LAND GRABS AND THE “NATURAL RESOURCE CURSE”

  • Resource Persons: John Bruce and Deborah Isser
  • Understand the nature and scope of the issues
  • Examine entry points for engagement
  • Case Study:Land Grabbing in Burma

EMERGENCY RESPONSE

  • Explore how to protect and/or preserve land rights in crisis
  • Provide overview of mapping and data
  • Case-study: land and shelter in Haiti

LAND POLICY AND ADMINISTRATION

  • Programming to support legal protection of property rights
  • Programming to support land reform (redistribution, land use management, access to housing) 

TRANSITIONAL JUSTICE CONSIDERATIONS AND POSTCONFLICT LAND ISSUES

  • Explore relevance and impact of transitional justice for addressing post-conflict land issues
  • Highlight conditions for victims-centered approach 
  • Case Study: Addressing Land from a Peace Building Perspective in the Democratic Republic of Congo 

DISPUTE RESOLUTION

  • Programming to support peaceful means of resolving disputes related to displacement and otherwise
  • From property claims commissions to community mediation
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Course Features
  • 8979 Views
  • 8 Weeks Online
  • 1-2 Weeks Classes
  • Certified

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