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The Politics of traditional-federal state formation and land administration reform in Ghana: 1821-2010

Appiah, Daniel (2012) The Politics of traditional-federal state formation and land administration reform in Ghana: 1821-2010. PhD thesis, University of York.

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Abstract

Imagine a democratic state in Africa where the Presidential-Executive and Parliament are constitutionally restrained from fundamentally reforming the institutions of land ownership and administration without the legal consent of traditional rulers (chiefs). This is the case in Ghana. Using the historical institutional theoretical approach, the study makes an original contribution to our understanding of how the political process of state formation between British colonial state makers and the rulers of traditional states in Ghana produced a type of state that I call the traditional-federal state in 1821-1831. The core legacies of this state are (i) the bifurcation of public authority between chiefs and government in the governance of land and people; and (ii) the complex interaction of informal-legal rules of customary law and formal-legal rules of common law. The study shows how these legacies have shaped institutional reforms within the dual ‘customary’ and ‘public’ sectors of land administration. The study argues that the traditional-federal state has constrained the development of transparent, accountable and efficient institutional framework of land administration. The study helps us to understand the origins and nature of the bifurcation of state authority between chiefs and government over land administration in Ghana. Secondly, the study helps us to understand the nature of institutions of chieftaincy for customary land administration. The study shows that informal-legal customary institutions of land administration are complementary to, and substitute for, the formal-legal institutions of land administration. Thirdly, the study shows that the potential of communal land ownership to promote development could be realized if government, chiefs, and citizens are committed to the creation and enforcement of formal-legal rules of accountable administration that distributes the benefits among stakeholders. Finally, the study reinforces the historical institutionalist argument that the critical juncture of institutional development matters for understanding subsequent endogenous and exogenous sources of institutional change.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: Ghana, institutional change, state formation, traditional authority, chieftaincy,colonialism, historical institutionalism, political settlement
Academic Units: The University of York > Politics (York)
Depositing User: Daniel Appiah
Date Deposited: 18 Sep 2012 09:00
Last Modified: 08 Aug 2013 08:49
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/2647

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