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Pastoralism and Politics in Northern Kenya and Southern Ethiopia

Pastoralism and Politics in Northern Kenya and Southern Ethiopia

Copyright Date: 2012
Published by: Boydell and Brewer,
Pages: 192
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  • Book Info
    Pastoralism and Politics in Northern Kenya and Southern Ethiopia
    Book Description:

    Focuses on pastoralism, politics, policies and development in northern Kenya and southern Ethiopia. It is based on anthropological field research over a period of thirty-four years and attempts a synthesis of historical findings and political anthropology, including studies carried out from a perspective of development intervention. Presenting a detailed ethnographic view of recent events of ethnic violence in Kenya, the authors analyse how local patterns of conflict among pastoralists were influenced by both national and regional politics, which have encouraged an increased tendency of territorialized ethnicity. The authors then discuss ways of getting out of the ethnic trap and revitalizing a mobile livestock economy in a region where other forms of land use are impossible or much less effective. A companion volume to Islam and Ethnicity in Northern Kenya and Southern Ethiopia, it will be of particular interest to political anthropologists, students of nomadism, pastoral economy ecology, and globalization. Günther Schlee is director of the Department of 'Integration and Conflict', Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Halle, Germany; Abdullahi Shongolo is an independent scholar based in Kenya.

    eISBN: 978-1-78204-214-3
    Subjects: Political Science, History, Sociology

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. List of Maps and Figures
    (pp. vii-viii)
  4. List of Abbreviations
    (pp. ix-x)
  5. Introduction
    (pp. 1-34)

    There is no need to worry about the future of pastoralism. Pastoralism came into existence thousands of years ago, not long after mixed agriculture from which it has derived as a form of specialization. It can be temporarily obstructed, oppressed, or abolished but it will always re-emerge. The reason for this is simple: about one third of the land surface of the world and two thirds of Africa (United Nations 1997) are arid or semi-arid and cannot be used for any other form of food production.¹ Low rainfall and its erratic distribution will always require herd mobility. If the groups...

  6. 1 Moi Era Politics, Transnational Relations and the Territorialization of Ethnicity
    (pp. 35-114)

    People of the Degodia and Ajuran Somali clans are culturally indistinguishable at first sight¹. There are some Boran-speaking Ajuran, but the remainder of them speak the same form of Somali as the Degodia. An elderly woman, Ajuran married to Degodia, once explained that the division of labour between the genders differs between the two groups, and that it was a bad surprise for her to find that as a married woman among the Degodia she had to herd animals. But such differences only turn up when the respective inquiries are made or one has spent more time living with these...

  7. 2 The Post-Moi Period 2002–2007
    (pp. 115-136)

    The later years of the Moi period brought an acceleration of the ethnicization of politics in Kenya. Politicians came to treat their constituencies as ethnic territories and to behave like ethnic leaders. Former pretences at modern statehood and universal citizenship were dropped to an increasing degree, at least in practice and in speeches given and discussions held in Swahili or local languages rather than in English. The change of government in December 2002 did not bring the change people hoped for. Ethnic clientelism remained the key tool of politics. It is therefore justified to deal with the late 1990s and...

  8. 3 Feedback and Cross-fertilization: The ‘Declaration of Indigenous Communities of Moyale District’
    (pp. 137-144)

    On Wednesday, 12 April 2000, a group of thirty-two signatories issued a declaration at Moyale, entitled the ‘Declaration of Indigenous Communities of Moyale District’. It was distributed to the District Commissioner, other Government officers, and representatives of the Garre community. These last perceived it, not without cause, as a notice to leave. It was sent to the Office of the President and the Provincial Commissioner. Its contents appear also in another letter to the Provincial Commissioner and other documents. Abdullahi Shongolo was present when it was formulated and even helped in brushing up the English of the document with mixed...

  9. 4 Some Comparative Perspectives, Conclusions and Recommendations
    (pp. 145-164)

    ‘In 1980 Isiolo District was flooded by pastoral Somali from Wajir and Mandera districts who were fleeing from constant harassment by their fellow Somali, who roamed about, robbing and raping at gunpoint’ (Schlee 1989a p. 52). The problem is older than the breakdown of the Somali state in the late 1980s which led to the dictator Siad Barre having to flee the country in 1991 and the subsequent faction fighting and mass emigration. It is older even than 1980, when I made this observation about the state of affairs in Isiolo District.

    The recommendation of Boran politicians derived from such...

  10. References
    (pp. 165-172)
  11. Index
    (pp. 173-178)
  12. Back Matter
    (pp. 179-183)