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Determinants, Consequences and Perspectives of Land Reform Politics in Newly Industrializing Countries

A Comparison of the Indian and the South African Case


David Betge

This comparative case study addresses central determinants of inequalities that persist in India and South Africa. The particular focus of the study is on programs aiming at the redistribution of land to the landless poor and these programs’ consequences. The central question is why extreme inequalities persist despite land redistribution programs that have been in place for decades and what role different actors and dominant ideas play in this. Beyond this empirical focus, the study transcends theoretical cleavages in the social sciences by following the basic ideas of Giddens’ Structurational Theory. An actor-centred approach is chosen as the primary tool for analysis. It is complemented with a structurational approach to discourse analysis for a detailed analysis of actors’ preferences.

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Chapter Eight: Comparison of the cases


This chapter presents the final comparison across the cases and analytical levels as the basis for concluding the assessment of the three hypotheses, and answering the main research question and related sub-questions laid out in chapter nine. Based on these objectives, and in the context of the hypotheses guiding the analysis, a number of specific issues need to be focused on in this chapter. One central priority is a systematic comparison of the similarities between the cases and an assessment of the quality of these similarities. The underlying question in this regard is: Do factors, which appear to be similar, have the same effect in the case-specific context? The same has to be asked with regard to the differences. Is it possible that factors, which appear to be different, have a similar effect? And further: Are effects of factors, which are either similar or different on one level, possibly compensated on another level? Based on answers to these questions, it will be possible to specify in detail the mechanisms relating to the three hypotheses. Finally, close attention needs to be paid to the assumed mutual constitution of actors and structures. What do the cases tell us about this influence, its respective direction, and mode of function?

The following sections systematically compare the cases on the different levels of analysis, highlighting important differences and similarities between them and addressing the issues laid out above. Chapter nine concludes the study by laying out the implications of the comparison...

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