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Frances Thomson
Los discursos dominantes tienden a tratar el despojo de tierras como un problema de los países ‘en desarrollo’, derivado de sistemas legales débiles/corruptos e instituciones de propiedad inadecuadas. Este artículo desestabiliza esos discursos al examinar casos de expropiación en Estados Unidos (ee. uu.) —país al que normalmente se le considera con instituciones de propiedad robustas y un sólido estado de derecho—. Con base en varios ejemplos, argumento que las expropiaciones en ee. uu. no son rigurosamente condicionadas ni particularmente excepcionales. Si bien la mayoría de las leyes de expropiación supuestamente restringen los poderes del Estado, esta restricción depende de la definición del uso, propósito, necesidad o interés público; además, en muchos países, incluido ee. uu., estos términos son definidos de manera amplia y vaga para así incluir proyectos privados con fines de lucro. En últimas, los contenidos, la interpretación y la aplicación de la ley están sujetos a luchas sociales y políticas —punto que suele ser pasado por alto en las ‘soluciones’ convencionales al despojo—. Por estas razones, los programas de titulación y las políticas dirigidas al fortalecimiento del estado de derecho (aun cuando sean exitosas) puede que transformen, más que resuelvan, el despojo en el Sur global.

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Frances Thomson, Universidad de Londres - SOAS

Researcher at the University of London - SOAS, recently completed a PhD at the University of Sussex.

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