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Redistribution of land in post-communist Romania
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social and Economic Geography.
2005 (English)In: Eurasian geography and economics, ISSN 1538-7216, Vol. 46, no 8, 618-632 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

A geographer discusses changes in the ownership of state and collectivized rural land in post-communist Romania. In an analysis based on historical and recent ownership data as well as on the author's interviews with 205 landholders from East and West Romania, local officials, as well as politicians, the study examines how the country's rural land has been redistributed after 1989. The combination of restitution and distribution is singled out as the unique feature of the Romanian land reform that sets it apart from the less equitable procedures adopted by other post-communist countries. Similarly different, as noted in the paper, is the high share of Romania's agricultural sector in the country's labor force.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2005. Vol. 46, no 8, 618-632 p.
Keyword [en]
agriculture, land redistribution, Romania, privatization, restitution, Timisoara, Iasi
National Category
Social and Economic Geography
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-92327DOI: 10.2747/1538-7216.46.8.618ISI: 000240212000004OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-92327DiVA: diva2:165361
Available from: 2004-11-03 Created: 2004-11-03 Last updated: 2011-06-20Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Property fragmentation: Redistribution of land and housing during the Romanian democratisation process
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Property fragmentation: Redistribution of land and housing during the Romanian democratisation process
2004 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In the context of democratisation in the early 1990s, the governments in Central and East Europe (CEE) had to decide how to deal with property that had been confiscated under state socialism. Nationalised housing and collectivised land were to a varying extent returned to former owners and their heirs by means of restitution, as well as being distributed to other citizens who were in possession of the users’ rights to such properties.

This thesis examines the spatial impacts, in terms of ownership patterns, of the way the redistribution of nationalised housing and collectivised land has been dealt with politically and at the local level in post-socialist Romania. It also locates the Romanian property reforms in relation to those of the rest of CEE. The impact of political directives on the property redistribution is analysed in relation to both structural influences, such as democratisation and antecedent property regimes, and implementation patterns in varied place-contexts. The thesis demonstrates that restitution was stifled due to disagreements between leftist and rightist political blocs, with the latter arguing for restitution whilst their opponents wrote the first restitution laws. A re-privatisation law allowed for the public sale of nationalised housing to tenants and thereby blocked the implementation of a restitution law, thus constituting a dilemma for constitutional democracy. In liberal place-contexts in West Romania, these obstacles to housing restitution were in part avoided. By contrast, land restitution was most widespread in the east, a stronghold of the left. This was because the legislation gives priority to restitution in areas of this kind, where smaller land-holdings dominated prior to 1945. The left-wing government pursued an electoral strategy of distributing small properties to a large number of citizens, and to current users in particular. This resulted in a fragmentation of historical property.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Kulturgeografiska institutionen, 2004. 78 p.
Series
Geografiska regionstudier, ISSN 0431-2023 ; 60
Keyword
Social and economic geography, Romania, restitution, re-privatisation, democratisation, political geography, Kulturgeografi
National Category
Human Geography
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-4646 (URN)91-506-1777-X (ISBN)
Public defence
2004-11-26, Auditorium Minus, Gustavianum, Uppsala, 10:00
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2004-11-03 Created: 2004-11-03 Last updated: 2011-06-20Bibliographically approved

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