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Tully and De Soto on Uniformity and Diversity

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Chapter Summary

This chapter seeks to compare and evaluate the competing claims of James Tully and Hernando de Soto. In the late 1990s James Tully gave the communitarian/multicultural debate an additional historical context locating this rejection of diversity in community and culture in the historical shift from ?ancient? to ?modern constitutionalism?. The chapter discusses ownership issues relating to land, de Soto's analysis applies to any form of property, chattels as well as immovable like real estate and land. It illustrates the appropriateness of de Soto's arguments by applying them to the Melanesian context where the most pressing issue is the economic mobilization of land; and in so doing demonstrate why wealth generation has proved to be such an elusive goal in Melanesia. Transforming non-western forms of ownership into western forms means that the fluidity of traditional indigenous property relations can no longer apply.

Keywords: economic mobilization; Hernando de Soto; James Tully; Melanesia; modern constitutionalism; traditional indigenous property; western ownership



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