Journal of Alpine Research / Revue de géographie alpine

Land Reforms in Post-Socialist Mountain Regions and their Impact on Land Use Management: a Case Study from the Caucasus

The land reforms of the 1990s in the former Soviet republics led to the elimination of the state’s monopoly on the ownership of land, a revival in local communities and a rise in business activity. The consequences of these reforms include the almost total disappearance of collective farms and the emergence of the private ownership of land. In the 1990s, the state delegated political power, including the disposability of land, to local authorities. However, these changes in political power varied significantly from region to region. This article aims to explain the various institutional environments that have developed at the local level in reaction to land reforms. Our investigation of 18 key villages in the North Caucasus republics of Karachay-Cherkessia, Kabardino-Balkaria, North Ossetia, Ingushetia, Chechnya and Dagestan show that land reforms have galvanised multiple actors representing the state, as well as collectives, individuals and various formal and informal institutions ...

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