African Studies Review Forum on Land Disputes and Displacement in Post-Conflict Africa

Conflict-related displacement is increasingly central in shaping land claims, property relations, and modes of belonging in Africa. The new African Studies Review Forum Land Disputes and Displacement in Post-Conflict Africa (2017, guest editors: Daivi Rodima-Taylor and Lotte Meinert) explores territoriality, belonging and boundary making in plural sites of public authority in African communities that are widespread in conflict-affected environments.

The discussions in this Special Forum reveal how political authority and norms of belonging are constituted and reproduced in conflict-related settings by exercising rights of resource access as well as community governance. The articles investigate the ways in which land conflicts impact structures and practices of authority at different levels of social interaction. Ethnographic and historical studies from Uganda, Zimbabwe, Liberia, Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire and South Africa analyze the consequences of diverse forms of forced mobility such as mass displacement, resettlement, and land restitution, and explore their impact on local land use, social hierarchy, political authority, kinship, and personhood.

The Forum is an outcome of a triple panel at the African Studies Association annual meeting in Indianapolis (November 2014), co-organized by the guest editors, who continued these discussions at the Symposium on Land and Conflict at the Institute of Peace and Strategic Studies, Gulu University, Uganda (January 2015).

Land Conflict Symposium at Gulu University, Uganda. Photo: Daivi Rodima-Taylor