Home       About us   Issues     Search     Submission Subscribe   Contact    Login 
Conservation and Society
An interdisciplinary journal exploring linkages between society, environment and development
Conservation and Society
Users Online: 1363 Home Print this page Email this page Small font sizeDefault font sizeIncrease font size

Year : 2004  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 19-50

Post-socialist Property Rights and Wrongs in Albania: An Ethnography of Agrarian Change

Newnham College, University of Cambridge, Cambridge CB3 9DF, United Kingdom

Correspondence Address:
Clarissa de Waal
Newnham College, University of Cambridge, Cambridge CB3 9DF
United Kingdom
Login to access the Email id

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

Rights and Permissions

In Communist Albania privately owned land was eliminated. Decollectivisation procedures began in 1991. This ethnography focuses on post-socialist property relations with respect to ex-cooperative land, forest and partially distributed state farm land. In northern Albania ex-cooperative land was privatised according to customary law rather than state decree. This was chiefly for practical reasons, but symbolic reasons played a role, too. The procedure was widely perceived as just; agreed by customary rules and tolerated by the state. The forest remained state owned though customary usage rights in the forest were reasserted by vil­lagers. State indifference to large-scale illegal felling has resulted in massive forest destruction. The status of ex-state farm land is anomalous, providing a fer­tile arena for electioneering politicians wooing squatters and painful insecurity for large numbers of highland village migrants. Post-socialist property relations in Albania have been characterised by government laissez-faire alternating with interventionism and corrupt practices. The population has had to resort to 'do-it­yourself' tactics. The oft-repeated cry: 'There is no state, there is no law'-ska shtet, ska ligj-encapsulates the view from the ground.

Print this article     Email this article
 Next article
 Previous article
 Table of Contents

 Similar in PUBMED
   Search Pubmed for
   Search in Google Scholar for
 Citation Manager
 Access Statistics
 Reader Comments
 Email Alert *
 Add to My List *
 * Requires registration (Free)

 Article Access Statistics
    PDF Downloaded629    
    Comments [Add]    

Recommend this journal