International development and West African pastoralism. Analysing conceptions of livestock ownership
ForfatterHukill, Jacob Paul
Pastoralists make up an important segment of the population of West Africa and inhabit large swathes of the Sahel that are unusable for crop-based agriculture for much of the year. This study aims to identify and understand how cultural, social, and economic implications of livestock ownership and care affect the implementation and outcomes of agricultural development projects targeting pastoralists by examining how these varied implications impact the relationships between pastoralists and international development projects in the West African Sahel. Data collected through semi-structured interviews, two periods of participant observation, a document review, and a short answer questionnaire are analysed using Bourdieu’s theory of practice in order to show how pastoralists conceive of livestock as multiple forms of capital and how those conceptions influence their relations with development organisations. While research results uniformly show that livestock ownership is central to pastoral culture, social identity, and economic wellbeing, an analysis of how development organisations understand this situation is much less homogenous. Development projects exhibit a variety of conceptions of pastoralism, sometimes even having different conceptions of pastoralism and pastoralists at different administrative levels. Organisations that do integrate pastoral conceptions of livestock ownership into their projects are thought to be more successful in achieving their surface level objectives; however, a discussion of how these projects achieve success when looking at their larger regional development goals is complicated by the continuing effects of historical feelings of cultural superiority among pastoral groups.
ForlagUiT Norges arktiske universitet
UiT The Arctic University of Norway
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