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This critical analysis of the performance of land-reform programmes on a world-wide basis is written by several prominent scholars who have extensive experience in field research, advisory work and the implementation of reform programmes. They provide empirical evidence from many countries on how improved access to land is positively linked to production, investment, employment, food security and poverty reduction. They examine the reasons for success and failure as well as shortcomings of past reform efforts and review the role of the different actors in this porcess. The book provides a proficient contribution to the discussion on land reform which has, in the late 20th century, re-appeared on the agenda of national governments and development agencies. The authors scrutinize the inadequacy of the market-oriented approach to land reform which is linked to the structural adjustment policies of the World Bank and advocate convincingly a flexible approach toward re-distributive reforms as the most appropriate strategy towards alleviating rural poverty. It is published in association with the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development.