Theses Doctoral

Institutional Resilience and Informality: The Case of Land Rights Mechanisms in Greater Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.

Touber, Julie

Land informality, or the absence of clear property rights, has been identified as a strong cause for lower economic development performance. In Africa, despite the presence of a formal institutional setting of property rights and established laws, the practice of land rights has favored a persistent informal institutional regime. This dissertation addresses the reasons for the persistence of land informality in the presence of formal laws in the case of Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso. Using process tracing, I dissect the processes of land conflict resolutions within the formal and informal institutions in order to pinpoint reasons for such prolong informality. I identify a very coherent and organized institutional set within the customary institutions, and the ambiguous relationship these institutions have with formal institutions. The inability of the formal institutions to resolve the informality issue is not the result of incompetence; it is the result of survival mechanisms from both the informal and formal institutions. Informality is the effect of the layered institutional setting and persists because of the resilience of survival mechanisms.

Geographic Areas


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Urban Planning
Thesis Advisors
Beauregard, Robert
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
October 17, 2016