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The paradox of pastoralist land tenure: Towards an understanding of changing institutional dynamics of land in Northern Kenya

Research profile seminar

Pastoralism in East Africa can be seen as a historically enduring adaptation to the highly variable climate- and ecological conditions of drylands, characterized by the combination of a more settled way of life during the wet season and migration to alternative grazing land during the dry season. The simultaneous dependence of both secure and flexible land rights have always been a distinctive feature of pastoralism and an enduring challenge in terms of land governance, sometimes referred to as "the pastoralist paradox".

In Kenya, the status of drylands has changed during the last decades from being labelled as marginal, unproductive and hostile to being framed as the new development frontier, areas that needs to be opened up by infrastructure investments, exploration and exploitation of hidden natural resources, and expanding land- and livestock markets. This is not only a market-driven economic project, but it is intimately linked to attempts by the Kenyan government to bring northern Kenya more firmly into the fold of the Kenyan nation state. Following this new interest in Kenya's dryland regions, the governance of pastoralist land has emerged as a challenge high on the political agenda, with the puzzle of the "pastoralist paradox" at its core. Guided by a critical institutional perspective and drawing on recent fieldwork within two different but thematically related research projects, I will argue for the relevance and benefits of analyzing the changing dynamics of pastoralist land use and land tenure in Kenya through an institutional lens.

Lecturer: Per Knutsson, School of Global Studies

Date: 2/6/2020

Time: 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Categories: Social Sciences

Organizer: Environmental Social Science, School of Global Studies

Location: Globala studier, Konstepidemins väg 2

Contact person: Marie Thynell

Page Manager: Lars-Olof Karlsson|Last update: 3/3/2008

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