GROUNDED LEGITIMACY – strengthening local land registration in conflict-affected Northern Uganda


This project explores how the Ugandan state legitimizes itself through decentralized land governance, and how interventions by development organizations supporting local land registration feed into the legitimacy of the Ugandan state and of customary authorities. This is done through ethnographic fieldwork in Acholi and Teso (sub-)regions of Uganda, where state legitimacy is highly contested, and tenure insecurity prevailing. Two post-doc research projects explore the dynamics of legitimation; and how development interventions feed into these. These dynamics are contrasted with hidden assumptions and normative ideas on legitimate authority underlying projects on political governance. The project assesses how practitioners may take legitimacy more explicitly into account when strategizing to strengthen land governance. The project engages with development practitioners, notably through developing legitimacy-focused conflict-sensitivity training, including participatory theatre. Dramatized video-clips will visualise the dynamics of legitimation and the role of development organizations. This may serve as training material for NGOs and CSOs.



W 08.400.181


Dr. ir. M. van Leeuwen

Verbonden aan

Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen, Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen, Centrum voor Internationale Conflictanalyse en -management (CICAM)


Dr. D. Betge PhD, C. Corbijn, Drs. J.K. Maiyo


01/12/2018 tot 31/07/2019