Property & Peace: Insurgency, Strategy, and the Statute of Frauds (Geoff Demarest)

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This book argues that the quality of foreign real property systems be made a priority issue in US diplomatic, military and intelligence thinking and strategy. The text does not argue that creating better land records will assure peaceful coexistence. Formal real property record systems correlate with peaceful societies, but the principle assertion here is in the negative. Even with formal records, functioning property courts, and a free and fluid market in land a place may still suffer violent dissention. However, a polity that does not formalize ownership rights and duties, especially rights and duties related to land, will not enjoy peace. Comprehensive, precise, transparent expression of real property is a necessary precondition of peace; places outside the lines of formal property necessarily slump toward possession by force. From this assertion others follow that bear on the way global security is pursued.