Pastoralism, Uncertainty and Development

Published on 7 June 2023

In the drylands and mountains where pastoralists live, uncertainty is everywhere. In these settings, negotiating access to resources, navigating volatile markets, making use of varying social relations in times of stress, and responding to conflict and complex political dynamics is essential if livelihoods are to be generated. Pastoralism – the extensive, often mobile use of rangelands – is a vitally important livelihood practice globally.

 Francesco Corda from northern Sardinia leading hissheep to graze.
Francesco Corda from northern Sardinia leading his sheep to graze. Credit: Roopa Gogineni.

Rangelands cover more than half the world’s land surface, supporting many millions of people and livestock, often in harsh and hostile environments. The book’s chapters – with case studies from Africa, Asia, and Europe – explore how pastoral mobility is sustained, how resources are managed, how markets are combined, how social protections are provided, and how patterns of accumulation and investment are sustained in a more globalized, interconnected world. Focusing on the attributes of flexibility, adaptation, innovation, and learning for generating reliability, the book offers wider lessons for development in pastoral areas the world over that go beyond the rigid modes of planning, management, and control.

Table of contents

Chapter 1: Pastoralism, uncertainty, and development: perspectives from the rangelands
Ian Scoones and Michele Nori

Chapter 2: Decoding uncertainty in pastoral contexts through visual methods
Shibaji Bose and Roopa Gogineni

Chapter 3: Engaging with uncertainties in the now: pastoralists’ experiences of mobility in western India
Natasha Maru

Chapter 4: Hybrid rangeland governance: ways of living with and from uncertainty in pastoral Amdo Tibet, China
Palden Tsering

Chapter 5: Uncertainty, markets, and pastoralism in Sardinia, Italy
Giulia Simula

Chapter 6: Responding to uncertainties in pastoral northern Kenya: the role of moral economies
Tahira Mohamed

Chapter 7: Livestock insurance in southern Ethiopia: calculating risks, responding to uncertainties
Masresha Taye

Chapter 8: Confronting uncertainties in southern Tunisia: the role of migration and collective resource management
Linda Pappagallo

Chapter 9: Living with and from uncertainty: lessons from pastoralists for development
Ian Scoones and Michele Nori

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Scoones, I. (2023) Pastoralism, Uncertainty and Development, Oxford: Practical Action Publishing


Ian Scoones

Professorial Fellow

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