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Land titling and urban development in developing countries: the challenge of Hernando de Soto's 'The Mystery of Capital'
journal contributionposted on 2023-08-30, 13:26 authored by Robert Home
Hernando de Soto’s global best-seller, The Mystery of Capital, has transformed the previously obscure topic of land titling into an apparent cure for the world’s ills. His achievement has been to focus attention on the relationship between sustainable capitalist economic development and the need of the Third World poor for secure land tenure. He challenges lawyers (and other professionals concerned with land management) to recognize the centrality of land to issues of social justice and development. The article links de Soto’s call for integrated property systems with current cross-disciplinary academic discourses on urban law and development and postcolonialism. Specific themes (illustrated with country examples) are cadastral reform (Southern Africa), adverse possession (Israel/Palestine) and usucapio (Brazil), the relationship of customary and individual land tenure (Botswana), and land assembly and infrastructure provision for urban development (land readjustment in Japan and India).
Publication titleJournal of Commonwealth Law and Legal Education
PublisherTaylor & Francis
- Accepted version