The valuation of property rights in the Khasi Hills of Meghalaya, India.
“Property is a political instrument, an element in social struggle, an object of consumption and a site for identity formation” (The Dictionary of Human Geography 2009, p. 594).
Within the context of shrinking global resources, this study analyses property rights in land based on empirical evidence from two fieldwork sites – Umroi Pyllun and Umden Pyllun villages in Ri-Bhoi District and Phlangdiloin village in West Khasi Hills District of Meghalaya.
The study is conceptualized around two theoretical pillars namely (a) the governance of common property resources at the collective choice level of action and (b) the issue of gender and property rights in the context of matrilineal societies.
Against the historical backdrop of the unique land tenure system in the Khasi Hills of Meghalaya from early 19th century and the interplay of changes in the traditional institutions of governance, the existing legislative pluralisms and contemporary development processes, the study brings out the local specificity in Meghalaya and contributes to the global discourse on the governance of common property rights and changes in property relations.