Title: The institutionalisation of property rights in Albanian and Romanian biodiversity conservation

Authors: Johannes Stahl, Thomas Sikor, Stefan Dorondel

Addresses: Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management, University of California, 140 Mulford Hall #3114, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA. ' University of East Anglia, School of Development Studies, Norwich, Norfolk NR4 7TJ, UK. ' Institute of Anthropology Bucharest, 8 Bd. Eroii Sanitari, 5th Sector, 050474 Bucharest, Romania

Abstract: This article examines the institutionalisation of property rights by way of two case studies on biodiversity conservation in Albania and Romania. The analysis pays particular attention to local level negotiations which occur when local actors make use of concrete resources and engage in discussions about their appropriate use. In both Albania and Romania, national parks are the object of intense negotiations, as local people contest the associated restrictions on their property rights to agricultural land and forest. The outcomes of the negotiations are varied, reflecting the influence of locally specific contexts. These results indicate that legal acts alone do not institutionalise property rights, as those are negotiated simultaneously among various kinds of actors at multiple, interrelated levels. Institutionalisation works through local negotiations about concrete resource practices and their associated justifications.

Keywords: Albania; biodiversity conservation; property rights; institutionalisation; national parks; Romania; South-Eastern Europe; local negotiations; resource practices; justification.

DOI: 10.1504/IJARGE.2009.023076

International Journal of Agricultural Resources, Governance and Ecology, 2009 Vol.8 No.1, pp.57 - 73

Published online: 08 Feb 2009 *

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