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Ng'ong'ola, Clement Henderson Supuni (1983) Statutory Control of Land and the Administration of Agrarian Policies in Malawi: An Historical Study of the Role of Legislation in the Administration of Agrarian Change, From the Colonial to the Post-Colonial Period. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

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This thesis traces the evolution of agrarian legislation in Malawi in response to some of the main currents in academic descriptions of the country's agricultural history. In some of the notable studies, prominence has been given to the centrality of colonial land and labour legislation and policies in the "underdevelopment" of agriculture and the general exploitation of peasant communities. This unfortunately obscures the role of legislation on crop marketing, which was just as voluminous as land and labour legislation, and other colonial policies on related issues like the allocation of agricultural credit. By focusing on the whole gamut of agrarian laws and policies, one part of this thesis attempts to present a more complete review of the colonial agricultural economy. The second part reviews the post-colonial agricultural economy and shifts the debate from colonialism and underdevelopment to post-colonial efforts to transform peasant agriculture using, among other tools, statutory enactments. Unlike other East and Central African countries, the post-colo- nial agricultural economy of Malawi has only belatedly begun to receive academic attention, and one of the general aims of this study is to contribute to the growing literature on the subject. Although the thesis responds to some of the trends in the historiography of agriculture in Malawi, it also aspires to contribute to legal scholarship. It is primarily a study of how legislation, the substance of a legal discipline, can be promulgated to serve varying and conflicting interests in an agricultural economy. The historical and socio-legal dimensions provide the necessary information for a critical appraisal of some of the assertions made by lawyers on the importance of law as an instrument for social change.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 12 Oct 2020 17:31

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