Land Use and Tenure Insecurity in the Drylands of Southern Ethiopia

John G. Mcpeak, Peter D. Little

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


This paper examines changing patterns of land rights and use in Borana and Guji zones, southern Ethiopia. It seeks to understand how heterogeneous groups of pastoralists and agropastoralists gain access to land under varied institutional configurations. We find different means of exclusion are pursued, including private enclosures that rely on customary institutions, government administration, and/or hybrid combinations to enforce claims. We also find that some herders may be making claims to farm plots with the goal of securing access to land rather than planting crops. By assessing how different situations and socio-economic factors affect land claims, the paper deepens understanding of motivations for plot acquisition by pastoralists and challenges the common dichotomy between customary and formal administrative rules and institutions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1307-1324
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Development Studies
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 3 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Development


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