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UK Research and Innovations (2020)

Farmer-herder conflicts as ’contentious politics’ - The case of Fulani pastoralists in West Africa

Farmer-herder conflict Fulani

Titre : Farmer-herder conflicts as ’contentious politics’ - The case of Fulani pastoralists in West Africa

Pays/Région : West Africa’s semi-arid belt

Durée : sept. 20 - sept. 23

Référence projet : 2613447
Catégorie : Studentship Lorraine Charbonnier

Résumé
Despite the growing interest in farmer-herder conflicts in West Africa, common explanations often result in narratives that strip herding people of their political agency and deprive their social interactions - including violent ones - of their political meaning. This research seeks to offer a theoretical counterargument to such essentialised understandings by examining how pastoralists experience, interpret and engage farmer-herder conflicts as consciously political, both at the local and transnational level. To this end, the research project will be carried out as an in-depth qualitative case study focusing on one, diverse ethnic group - the Fulani - with a large nomadic pastoral community scattered across West Africa’s semi-arid belt. Conceptually, the research will reframe farmer-herder conflicts involving Fulani pastoralists as instances of ’contentious politics’, that is "interactions in which actors make claims bearing on other actors’ interests, leading to coordinated efforts on behalf of shared interests or programs, in which governments are involved as targets, initiators of claims, or third parties" (Tilly and Tarrow 2012:7). By doing so, the research will contribute to reshaping the narrative around farmer-herder conflicts and open up new avenues for explaining how they might be reproduced, reinterpreted, or reinvented across time and space. This, in turn, will carry practical implications for security and development policies.

Lead Research Organistion : King’s College London

Financement : Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)

UK Research and Innovations

Page publiée le 27 août 2022