Rural Property and Economy in Post-communist Albania
Edited by Harold W. Lemel
176 pages, 74 tables, 25 figs, bibliog., index
ISBN 978-1-57181-150-9 $120.00/£85.00 Hb Published (March 2000)
"A very informative book that invites many important questions for researchers working in Eastern Europe." · Anthropos
For nearly half a century, Albania had been one of the most isolated and enigmatic countries in the world, where the confiscation of private property was more thoroughly accomplished than anywhere else in Europe. In an abrupt and radical turnaround beginning in 1991, the bulk of the country's land and assets were distributed to its citizens. This book explores issues and challenges emerging in this new context, focusing specifically on rural areas, and examines the question of how secure current landholders seem to be about their property and what this implies for future investment and land market prospects. What does emerge quite clearly from the author's findings is the important role of historical and regional factors in the economic activities of the rural population. The volume is particularly concerned with some key challenges resulting from the new farm property structure, including land fragmentation, formal credit access, and intra-family property rights issues. This in-depth study at the micro level leads to the conclusion that, in Albania's case, privatization of property does certainly not have the far-reaching salutary effects that western reformers had expected.
Contributors: H. Lemel, R. Wheeler, S. Lastarria-Cornhiel, P. Bloch, A. Dubali.
Harold Lemel came to his work in rural land privatization in Albania after almost two decades of rural development research in the Middle East, Africa, East Asia, and the Caribbean. His main focus has been land tenure issues.