Pastoralism and Politics in Northern Kenya and Southern Ethiopia

February 2012
9 black and white, 3 line illustrations
191 pages
21.6x13.8 cm
Eastern Africa Series
Library eBook
James Currey
BISAC POL053000, HIS001000, SOC056000

Pastoralism and Politics in Northern Kenya and Southern Ethiopia

Günther Schlee, Abdullahi A. Shongolo

Examines how the lives of pastoralists in northern Kenya and southern Ethiopia are deeply affected by the creation of mutually exclusive ethnic territories and proposes ways to reverse this trend.
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.

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Table of Contents

Introduction - Günther Schlee
Moi Era Politics, Transnational Relations & the Territorialization of Ethnicity - Abdullahi A. Shongolo and Günther Schlee
The Post-Moi Period (2002-2007) - Günther Schlee and Abdullahi A. Shongolo
Feedbacks & Cross-fertilizations: the 'Declaration of Indigenous Communities of Mylae District' - Günther Schlee
Some Comparative Perspectives, Conclusions & Recommendations - Günther Schlee


A rich and fascinating look at the complex matrix of clan alliances and conflicts within and between pastoral societies in the context of local and national politics. NOMADIC PEOPLES

The best reference book for political scientists, historians and administrators who seek to understand the critical issues driving conflict and impeding development in any interethnic pastoralist community in East Africa. AETHIOPICA

Has profound implications for understanding 'tribalism' in Kenyan politics [and provides] invaluable insight into the regional context, as well as useful analyses for those researching ethnic conflict and policy implications in other parts of the world. LUCAS BULLETIN

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