Complications for traditional land consolidation in Central Europe

Terry van Dijk*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

93 Citations (Scopus)


An integral part of post-socialist transformation under the Washington Consensus has been the privatisation of previously state owned and/or co-operative farms. In many instances, there have been attempts at 'turning back the clock' to pre-War conditions, including land ownership structures. Frequently, the result has been the division of large, economically efficient units into numerous, small and economically barely viable private plots. Following accession to the European Union, these re-constituted peasant-scale structures pose a major challenge to the Union's agricultural policy. As this paper demonstrates, a simple transfer of western European practices, such as land consolidation, is not possible. The particular legacies of the communist system have given land ownership particular values, legitimacy and personal identity, and emotional bonds. Simple technocratic solutions, as applied in the West earlier, are thus not feasible. Consequently, the paper points out, new forms and instruments of tackling disadvantageous agricultural structures need to be found. (c) 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)505-511
Number of pages7
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May-2007
Externally publishedYes


  • land reform
  • land consolidation
  • land fragmentation
  • emotional bonds
  • socialism
  • agricultural policy
  • European Union

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