«Dissertation Zur Erlangung des akademischen Grades Doctor rerum agriculturarum (Dr. rer. agr) eingereicht an der Landwirtschaftlich-Gärtnerischen ...»
Institutions: (1) Social norms and setup: Social norms and culture involve organizing human behavior to agree with the expectation of others (Durlauf and Blume 2006: 69). Norms deal with a wide range of concepts, including property rights, contracts, bargains, forms of communication, and concepts of justice.
In Pakistan, the culture of the patriarchal combined family system has a strong hold on the decision-making of landowners. Most of the families do not like to distribute land, as it is against their traditions. They consider land as indicating their social status and as a power symbol. An unequal command and access to property occur between different family members. Although, every member knows about his share of land, most of them are bound to live in a combined framework, because this is their culture. The legal members are deprived from gaining access to their share, and in some cases, loopholes of formal laws are supportive of such culture.
(2) Property rights: If an individual or a group of individuals has/have 1) the right to possess, 2) the right to use, 3) the right to manage, 4) the right to the income, 5) the right to distribute, and 5) the right to alienation, then he (they) is (are) the owner (s) of the land. In other words, he (they) relates to a particular stream of benefits and bear costs from the goods in the case of ownership.
Figure 3.5: Action Arena for Land Degradation and Land-use Conflicts Source: Own Presentation As explained in Section 3.
2.6, the law of the `transfer of property act´ has some ambiguities relating to oral declaration and irregular sales. These anomalies of the law cause problems at the time of distribution, and some severe family conflicts arise in the presence of a strong culture. These conflicts sometimes take far too long to decide. On one hand, the actors who have sources of income other than land can easily maintain their lifestyle. They are in the better position of bargaining and can spend more time over the settlement. On the other hand, the actors who are totally dependent on the land are in a weak position of bargaining and cannot obtain a sufficient amount of output because of improper timing and poor land conditions. This delay in the outcome of a decision causes falls in agricultural output.
Similarly, any land-use change, which is related to the economic utility of the landowners, is also effected by the influential group, as they can forcefully impose their decision of land-use change upon the other actors. This land use gives them maximum utility and profit, but the net social cost of these decisions will be very high, for example, over-utilization of land resources cause soil degradation, not only on the concerned plot, but also on other neighboring land.
Governance structure: Land is owned by private owners basically belongs to the state, and only four feet of land ceiling is allowed for use by the farmer; government has thus given the rights to private owners (Land Reforms 1972). For the usage of this land, the landowner has to pay revenue, which is determined by the District Officer of Revenue (DOR). The land registration system9 is a long hierarchy, which is very complex and not easy to understand.
Local governance structure is arranged as a top-down management of some bureaucrats who are not particularly helpful in dealing with the problems of landowners, as they consider themselves as being more government officials rather than representatives of the local people.
No specific environmental policy exists that supports their decisions about land use. Local governance is not responsible at all for the conservation of the land resources.
3.5 Conflicts among Actors Regarding Land Degradation
The relationship of land and conflict is very complicated, because land is connected not only with the traditions, culture, and norms, but also with the legal and public administration system of the society (ICARRD 2006: 2). This means that it is a mixture of both economics and politics. At the same time, when related to conflicts, issues become more complex, after tie-ups with power, laws of property, economic incentives, and inequalities of the system. A situation of grievance can easily be found in wider and deeper rooted conflicts. To solve the land issue, it is necessary to dig deep into integrated and interdisciplinary matters in order to have a better understanding (ICARRD 2006: 2).
Campbell et al. (2000) have discussed the cases of scarcity and control of land resources in Kenya in which the population has increased, and the scarcity of land and water issues create a problem. Market liberalization and the trade in horticulture are unable to solve the problem because the institutional setup is not effective. “Land management and resource allocation system is totally controlled by power. Power is vested in people and institution with different
The Land Registration System will be explained in Chapter 5
political, economic and social status and different influence over civil authorities and public policy” (Bryant 1998).
The causes of conflicts related to land arise because of the competition over scarce land resources (access, control, use). Some ambiguity exists over ownership and legal arrangements, and hence, a social relationship in land conflict always involves attempts to gain control of the land. The different perceptions, attitudes, and behavior of people in respond to land, for example, the increased interdependence over land resources (landscape and land-use) and contradictory regulatory provisions make the situation complicated. The conflicts occur because of lack of basic understanding of the relationship between land and people and unwillingness of landowners to respond to changing social, political, technological, and economic behavior. (Upreti 2004: 2).
Brazil’s Amazon is an example of the ambiguity over ownership and legal arrangements.
Titles for land in Brazil are as legal as in United States; for example, the title holder has to pay taxes, has the rights to use and to arrange the titles according to his will, and can take goods back from those who take them unjustly. Some ambiguities exist in the law of Brazil, e.g., in the recent constitution of 1988, shareholders can claim government land and can occupy up to fifty hectare of vacant private land. If they develop this land for five consecutive years without opposition of the owner, they can obtain the title through adverse possession (Alston et al. 1999: 165). This unclear definition of land institution invites dispute on land distribution, which provides a fertile ground for land conflicts.
Unfairness, injustices, anger and mistrust also lead to land conflicts (Martinelli and Almeida 1998: 322), as every actor attempts to destroy, influence or control the land of the other actor (Jacob and Schreyer 1980: 370). Knight (1992: 164) has discussed the problem of the distribution of property to the next generation after the death of the owner. The transfer of property represents the security of the future and well-being of the heirs and determines the status of the deceased. Mainly, property is distributed among the spouse and children of the deceased. He has characterized this problem of property transfer as a problem of asymmetric power between shareholders. The shareholders’ concern is for the protection and the betterment of their future. The only asset is the family estate, and sometimes the efforts to attain these goals cause conflicts between or among families and disputes with attorneys. An explanation of the development of inter-state succession rules can be found in 1) the effects of the rules on these conflicting goals and 2) the alternative sources of economic well-being for the actors (Knight 1992: 168). This concept will help in understanding the situation of land owners for this study.
The distributional theory of institutional change deals with the problem of land distribution as in the agricultural economy; asymmetric power10 is in the hand of the parents or some other senior member of the family who has an attorney to control the family estate. They can introduce rules according to their own ideas, in the absence of a formal will of the deceased, or for their own interest. For instance, they can introduce unigeniture rules that maintain the
estate as productive as before and tie all the other family members as one unit (Knight 1992:
168). These rules may or may not be beneficial to the heirs, e.g., in the commercial economies, the remainder of the children who have other sources of income, and whose parent is dependent on them, are in the better position of bargaining (ibid). They can force a parent to change their decision.
The key features of this theory of bargaining are asymmetry, credibility, risk aversion, and time preference (Knight 1992: 129). The asymmetries of power are the factors that affect the attitude of strategic actors to determine institutional change. It is necessary to take into account that some social actors are more powerful than the others and know about those differences. These actors can force the other actors to choose a particular equilibrium strategy according to their preference and will act in accordance with whether they wish to do so (Knight 1992: 127).
In the case of land distribution, Knight (1992: 127) starts with an informal rule formation for the distribution of land. Different sets of preferences are available and actors structure these rules as per their independent activities (ibid: 128). More than one set of rules can satisfy the situation; because of this multiple choice solution, people enter into conflicts with preferences (ibid), and the result is bargaining. Three possibilities can occur: 1) all parties agree with the same decision, which is beneficial for all, 2) there is a conflict of interest about which agreement to conclude, and 3) instead of agreement, a decision is imposed on any one or by anyone without approval (Osborne and Rubinstein 1990: 1).
Knight has discussed the prisoner’s dilemma game to explain the bargaining theory (Table 3.1). This game has two alternatives for two players (Knight 1992: 129).
Power asymmetry means that power is unequally distributed; on the other hand, “the consequences for the low-power person are usually clear – he will enact responses or make other changes which the high power person desire” (Schopler 1965, cited in Dwyer and Walker 1981: 106).
Where ∆ A; B x are the two equilibrium outcomes of the game for the L, R and R, L strategic combinations. The ∆ values are the pay offs, which actors have to pay in case of failure to attain equilibrium. ε A. B are the distributional advantages that every actor wants to obtain.
Convincing others to undertake a particular action is not sure. If “A” player wants to play ‘R’, then he should constrain the actions of player “B” for the selection of Game ‘L’. “A” can improve his credibility by changing his profit situation obtained from his outcomes. In this way, he can assure player “B” of his selection for game ‘R’. His credibility will force player “B” to choose the ‘L’ game.
Risk is based on the choice and relatively amount of the cost of breakdown. The breakdown cost is calculated through the equilibrium values. As players are in equilibrium, we can say that there is no asymmetric power in the game, and so the non-coordination cost is zero ∆ A = ∆ B. In case of ∆ A ∆ B “B” bears more breakdown cost, which means that “A” has the more power of choice. There is a positive relationship between ownership (choice) and risk acceptance and a negative relationship between ownership and risk aversion (Knight 1992: 133).
The time preference is related to the time frame for achieving a successful solution of the problem. If an individual has more resources, then he would be more patient and less dependent on bargaining outcomes, which is a time-consuming process.