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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Legal pluralism as a source of conflict in multi-ethnic societies: the case of Ghana
Author:Schmid, Ulrike
Periodical:Journal of Legal Pluralism and Unofficial Law
Geographic term:Ghana
Subjects:ethnic relations
traditional rulers
customary law
land law
conflict of laws
Abstract:A case study of the 'ethnic' clashes over land which took place in 1991 between Gonja and Nawuri in Kpandai, northern Ghana, shows how colonial legal concepts of territorial rule and title to land were used by local leaders to consolidate already unequal intergroup power relations in their favour. These legal changes 'loaded' their relationship with a variety of meanings, suggesting in the social domain a relationship between masters and slaves and leading on the political level to an exclusion of Nawuri leaders from modern and hybrid institutions which would otherwise have provided a link to the 'modern' administration. The case study shows how opportunities offered by legal pluralism can be used as a political instrument and how this threatens political stability and the practice of democracy. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. (p. ix). [Journal abstract, edited]