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The institutionalisation of property rights in Albanian and Romanian biodiversity conservation

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This article examines the institutionalisation of property rights by way of two case studies on biodiversity conservation in Albania and Romania. The analysis pays particular attention to local level negotiations which occur when local actors make use of concrete resources and engage in discussions about their appropriate use. In both Albania and Romania, national parks are the object of intense negotiations, as local people contest the associated restrictions on their property rights to agricultural land and forest. The outcomes of the negotiations are varied, reflecting the influence of locally specific contexts. These results indicate that legal acts alone do not institutionalise property rights, as those are negotiated simultaneously among various kinds of actors at multiple, interrelated levels. Institutionalisation works through local negotiations about concrete resource practices and their associated justifications.

Keywords: Albania, biodiversity conservation, property rights, institutionalisation, national parks, Romania, South-Eastern Europe, local negotiations, resource practices, justification

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