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Climate change policy narratives and pastoralism in the Horn of Africa: new concerns, old arguments?

Campbell, Tom (2021) Climate change policy narratives and pastoralism in the Horn of Africa: new concerns, old arguments? PhD thesis, Dublin City University.

While there is a growing body of knowledge on the effects of climatic and other forms of change on pastoralism in Africa, less is known about how recent policy responses and development interventions in the name of climate change and pastoral area development are shaped by certain discourses and narratives and by political interests. This is important because the simplifications that are often a characteristic of environmental policy narratives can fail to acknowledge the politicised nature of many environmental problems in local contexts. The pastoral drylands are no exception as claims to land and other resources remain contested by different actors. Through content and discourse analyses of national policies, supplemented by interviews with key informants, this research examines the discourses and narratives around pastoralism found within contemporary policy in Ethiopia and Kenya, the interests of actors and actor-networks shaping those narratives, and their consequences for pastoralism. The findings reveal that while concerns around climate change and calls for strengthening resilience of dryland communities have given a new impetus to pastoral development, old narratives that depict pastoral areas as unproductive and in need of modernisation remain deeply embedded in policy making. These open up spaces for the state, investors, and local elites to extend control over natural resources previously managed under customary institutions. The resultant climate policy solutions and dryland investments are, in turn, leading to new patterns of social differentiation and vulnerability among pastoralists. While providing some level of climate-risk preparedness, climate adaptation and resilience-building interventions on their own are insufficient to meet the needs of pastoralist communities. I argue that the extent and nature of dynamic change in the drylands of the HoA calls for political responses that address social inequities and power imbalances, that safeguard pastoralist’s resource rights, and that allow for more inclusive forms of governance
Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Date of Award:November 2021
Supervisor(s):Gaynor, Niamh
Subjects:Social Sciences > Political science
Social Sciences > Public administration
DCU Faculties and Centres:DCU Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Science > School of Law and Government
Use License:This item is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License. View License
Funders:Kimmage Development Studies Centre, Shanahan Research Group
ID Code:25630
Deposited On:28 Oct 2021 12:20 by Niamh Gaynor . Last Modified 28 Oct 2021 12:20

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