Introduction: New Avenues for Pastoral Development in sub-Saharan Africa

Tobias Hagmann, Chinwe Ifejika-Speranza

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

African pastoralism is a perplexing, controversial and misunderstood subject. Certainly, making sense of herders’ lifestyles and livelihoods is made especially difficult – if not impossible – by the marked absence of consensus between scholars of pastoralism. Sharp disagreements exist as to whether pastoralism in sub-Saharan Africa is on the verge of extinction, or whether it is a resilient livelihood strategy. Similarly, authors diverge on the question of whether drought cycles have become increasingly recurrent and lifethreatening, or whether they are part of the climatic variability that has always characterized arid and semi-arid ecosystems. Finally, different viewpoints exist concerning whether or not it is possible to maintain extensive production strategies and the mobility of
herds and people in increasingly populous and circumscribed territories. Although
a number of research fields and academic debates with regard to ‘new range ecology’, climate change, risk management or sustainable livelihoods have produced important insights for African drylands, there have been few attempts to conceptualize pastoral development more broadly and beyond disciplinary confines. This is precisely the objective of this special issue, which seeks to provide an overview of current research on the economic, ecological, political
and social challenges and opportunities of pastoral societies in sub-Saharan Africa.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Development Research
Volume22
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)593-504
ISSN0957-8811
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes

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