n Malawi Law Journal - The rhetoric and practice in land reform in Malawi : a contextualised governmentality analysis




Since 1996 Malawi has embarked on a new cycle of land reform. The ongoing land reform takes place in the context of a 'new wave' in development discourse where 'development' is re-conceptualised through a supposedly decentred focus on economic growth. The 'new donor consensus' is that land reform must be 'more human-centred' and foster 'pro-poor economic growth.' It is in this context that Malawi adopted a new National Land Policy in 2002. This policy is meant to guide the country's land reform and contribute to sustained economic growth. However, the new policy and the envisaged land law reform will not resolve the land question in Malawi mainly because they both ignore the country's history and social context, mistake land reform for land law reform, and place too much premium on turning rural dwellers into entrepreneurs.


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