Record Item Year: 2004

Gender, Property Rights and Responsibility for Farming in Kerala

“This paper critically examines the claim that women in Kerala have substantial property rights arising out of agrarian and social reform and the practice of matriliny. It argues that land reform strengthened the patriarchal conjugal framework of property relations in the state, compromising women’s independent right to property. While agriculture is no longer considered a viable occupation in the state, greater male occupational mobility has shifted the balance of responsibility for farming and family property increasingly to women. However, this work is being under-reported, is not necessarily ‘visible’ and comes at the cost of paid employment. For some, social mobility […]

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The Recently Revised Marriage Law of China: The Promise and the Reality

Even though the recent revisions to the marriage laws have been hailed as some of the most significant and positive changes in family law in China, thus far no empirical evaluation of the laws’ effectiveness in actual practice has been conducted. The article raises some questions as to the practical effect these revisions will have on women’s rights. The article suggests recommendations that will help bring the marriage law in compliance with the international standards set out in the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women, as well as helps deliver on the promise of the revisions to the […]

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Full Circle? Rural Land Reforms in Globalizing China

ABSTRACT: China’s rural land rights regime is being reformed. Most explanations for the reforms focus on the efficiency effects anticipated from the strengthening of villagers’ land rights. In contrast, this article argues that rural land rights reforms are intended to resolve the intra-state and state-society contention generated by China’s market transition and globalization, and to mediate villagers’ dispossession of their land and their transformation into a proletariat.

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Mosaic of reform: Forest Policy in Post-1978 China

With the start of economic reforms in 1978, China’s forest sector was caught up in a whirlwind of change. It began with the devolution of forest tenures in rural areas, but led to reform of state-owned forest enterprises via introduction of stumpage fees and liberalized forest product prices. From the early 1990s to 1998, while China increasingly embraced the market economy, the nation’s natural forests continued to be depleted despite repeated emphasis on sustainable development. Then, in the wake of the 1998 floods in the Yangtze River basin, there was a shift in focus from timber production to environmental protection, […]

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