|dc.description.abstract||Despite a growing acceptance of the urgent and unique development needs of post-conflict societies, there remains a general lack of research on how these needs can be addressed through the process of land tenure reform. The lack of consideration for the broader impacts of post-conflict land tenure arrangements on the well-being of individuals has resulted in the formation of conceptual and practical gaps between the role of tenure reform, the normative understanding of development, and the principles of sustainability. As the concept of sustainable development continues to gain prominence in both policy and research, the need to address these gaps becomes increasingly important.
This thesis addresses the conceptual and practical separation that exists between land tenure reform in post-conflict societies and the processes required to achieve sustainable human development. Specifically, the thesis identifies significant characteristics of rural land tenure in post-conflict Cambodia and examines their relationships with various dimensions of human security.
In order to meet the research objectives, and overcome the challenges faced by complexity, contextual relevance, and data reliability, the thesis utilises a range of qualitative and quantitative data drawn from primary and secondary sources. First, the research establishes four contrasting development environments in Cambodia based on the levels of exposure to past conflict and recent land tenure reform intervention. Next, each of these environments is linked to two rural villages using a variety of geographic information system (GIS) techniques. A field study was conducted in each of the selected villages to capture a range of primary data regarding the land tenure regime and human security that currently characterise the rural villagers.
An analysis of primary data is reported in two phases. The first phase presents a contextual analysis that uses an exploratory technique to analyse the social, political, economic, and physical contexts of Cambodia. The second phase utilises a series of statistical methods in order to identify more specifically how the human security of rural Cambodians may have been affected by exposure to conflict and land tenure reform.
The results of the analysis show that, despite evidence of an overall improvement to the strength of human security following a high exposure to land tenure reform, rural Cambodians may not have experienced significant improvements in their physical or psychological security. Endemic corruption, a dysfunctional political system, and excessive levels of household debt contribute to the continued vulnerability of the rural communities examined in the research. These findings suggest that the benefits of land tenure reform are even narrower than has typically been proposed, and international development resources may be of better use in other areas, at least during the early stages of post-conflict development.||