Spatial Biopolitics of Tick-Borne Disease Control Practices in Laikipia, Kenya

Richard Chepkwony*, Severine van Bommel, Frank van Langevelde

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Tick-borne diseases (TBDs) are major constraints for wildlife, livestock production and human health. Chemical acaricides are widely promoted for the control of TBDs despite the uncertainty that farmers and state support can manage TBDs. This paper explores how spatial biopolitics related to TBDs are enacted by livestock keepers in Laikipia, Kenya. The results show that control of TBDs is the product of indigenous knowledge of pastoral farmers and western veterinary thought with two different logics, sometimes converging but often at odds. The analysis reveals power relations, tensions and contradictions emerging from an attempt to impose a western model for the management of TBDs resulting in marginalization of the pastoralists and their livestock. This paper shows that a practice-based approach, focused on situated agency, can provide an empowering way of understanding the spatial biopolitics of acaricide use and management of TBDs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1297-1314
JournalSociety and Natural Resources
Issue number12
Early online date3 Aug 2022
Publication statusPublished - 2 Dec 2022


  • Kenya
  • pastoralism
  • practices
  • spatial biopolitics
  • tick management


Dive into the research topics of 'Spatial Biopolitics of Tick-Borne Disease Control Practices in Laikipia, Kenya'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this