Insecurity and pastoral development in the Sahel

Mirjam de Bruijn, J.W.M. van Dijk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleProfessional

22 Citations (Scopus)


In this article it is argued that conventional agro-ecological and organizational concepts used in pastoral development are strongly biased towards the formulation and enforcement of norms. This leads development experts to attempts to control pastoralists and their herds. The policies and development interventions based on these assumptions have been largely unsuccessful. As a consequence attention for dryland areas and pastoral development has declined among researchers and development agencies. An important reason for this failure is the fundamental misfit between these normative concepts and the reality of dryland ecosystems and pastoral society. In order to show this, an alternative view on rangeland ecology and pastoral society is presented, supported by a case study of Fulbe pastoral society in dryland Central Mali. The authors argue that approaches to pastoral development must be revised in the direction of the dynamics inherent in the pastoral way of life.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)115-139
JournalDevelopment and Change
Publication statusPublished - 1999

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