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York University (2002)

Property rights, risk and development : community-level range management in Niger.

Vanderlinden, Jean-Paul

Titre : Property rights, risk and development : community-level range management in Niger >

Auteur : Vanderlinden, Jean-Paul

Université de soutenance : York University

Grade : Doctorat (Ph.D.) 2002

Résumé
This dissertation contributes to the debate on Common Pool Natural Resources (CPNRs) through the analysis of a specific case study : rangeland in southwest agro-pastoral Niger. The management of CPNRs is the subject of a lively debate pertaining to the property rights regime that may accompany CPNR management. This dissertation shows that this debate may very well be the consequence of disciplinary preconceptions that are linked with disciplinary paradigms. By approaching the case study with an interdisciplinary approach, this dissertation shows how interdisciplinary research may contribute to the avoidance of “universalism” (i.e., one property rights regime fits all CPNRs) with regard to CPNR management. The case study is approached by using three different conceptual frameworks in order to explore five research questions. A first framework, econometric modelling, is used to explore the following two questions : “what are the determinants of rangeland use in southwest agro-pastoral Niger ?” and “what are the determinants of livestock mobility ?” A second framework, event chronology analysis, is used to explore the following two questions : “what is the impact of rainfall shocks on rangeland property rights ?” and “is the marginalization of the pastoral space avoidable and reversible ?” A third framework, network analysis, allows for the exploration of : “do traditional local institutions have the capacity to play a role in the management of rangeland ?” The analysis and discussion of these research questions point to the fact that community-level rangeland management in southwest agro-pastoral Niger is a definite possibility. Nevertheless, it will be possible only if livestock raising practices are strong in the two traditional producer groups : agriculturalists and pastoralists. Community-level management will, therefore, have to be rooted in the community that is constituted by the users of the rangeland. Finally this dissertation concludes by stressing the results in terms of rangeland-management policy for Niger, in terms of the interdisciplinary analysis of CPNR, and in terms of conducting interdisciplinary research in general.

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