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To share or not share? : (non-)violence, scarcity and resource access in Somali region, Ethiopia

Teilen oder nicht teilen? : Gewalt(verzicht) und der Zugang zu knappen Rohstoffen in der Somali-Region in Äthiopien
[working paper]

Bogale, Ayalneh; Korf, Benedikt

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Corporate Editor Humboldt-Universität Berlin, Institut für Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften des Landbaus, Fachgebiet Ressourcenökonomie
Abstract "It is often argued that environmental scarcity was a trigger and source of violent conflict, in particular in African countries. At the root of such arguments is a simple environmental determinism, which understands scarcity as undermining co-operative relationships between competing resource users. Robert Kaplan popularised this thesis in his argument about 'The Coming Anarchy', where he interpreted recent civil wars in Africa as an advent of a fundamental environmental crisis. In our view, this conception disregards the crucial role of local-level institutions in governing competing resource claims. In this paper, we present a case study from the violence-prone Somali Region, Ethiopia. We analyse how agro-pastoralist communities develop sharing arrangements on pasture resources with intruding pastoralist communities in drought years, even though this places additional pressure on their grazing resource. A household survey investigates the determinants for different households in the agro-pastoralist community, asset-poor and wealthy ones, to enter into different types of sharing arrangements. Our findings suggest that resource sharing offers asset-poor households opportunities to stabilise and enhance their asset-base in drought years, providing incentives for co-operative rather than conflictive relations with intruding pastoralists. We conclude that it may depend on potential incentives arising from institutional arrangements, whether competing resource claims in periods of environmental scarcity are resolved peacefully or violently." (author's abstract)
Keywords Ethiopia; agriculture; agricultural population; raw materials; preserving natural resources; conflict potential; conflict management; conflict situation; conflict mediation; cooperation; willingness to cooperate; institutional factors; nomad; East Africa; developing country; Africa South of the Sahara; Africa
Classification Rural Sociology; Ethnology, Cultural Anthropology, Ethnosociology; Peace and Conflict Research, International Conflicts, Security Policy
Method empirical; quantitative empirical
Document language English
Publication Year 2005
City Berlin
Page/Pages 28 p.
Series Institutional Change in Agriculture and Natural Resources (ICAR) : Discussion Papers, 10
Licence Deposit Licence - No Redistribution, No Modifications
data provider This metadata entry was indexed by the Special Subject Collection Social Sciences, USB Cologne