Land to the tiller? land reform in Asia following the Second World War.
Thesis DisciplinePolitical Science
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Arts
This research seeks to understand why land reform, which has been found to reduce poverty and provide a basis for equitable growth, has not been effectively implemented in many parts of the world. Comparing South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and the Philippines following the Second World War, it seeks to explain why there is variation in the implementation of land reform across these cases. It argues that in order for land reform to be implemented, two conditions must be met. The first condition is that governing elites’ hold on power is tentative, incentivizing them to change the status quo. The second condition is that governing elites have autonomy from landed elites, whose power they must be prepared to undermine. These two conditions were met in South Korea and Taiwan, but not in Thailand and the Philippines.