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Lands of the Future: Anthropological Perspectives on Pastoralism, Land Deals and Tropes of Modernity in Eastern Africa

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Volume 23

Integration and Conflict Studies

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Lands of the Future

Anthropological Perspectives on Pastoralism, Land Deals and Tropes of Modernity in Eastern Africa

Edited by Echi Christina Gabbert, Fana Gebresenbet, John G. Galaty and Günther Schlee

396 pages, 8 illus., bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-78920-990-7 $145.00/£107.00 / Hb / Published (January 2021)

eISBN 978-1-78920-991-4 eBook

View CartYour country: - edit  Buy the eBook! $39.95info on epub formatRequest a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format)Recommend to your LibraryAvailable in GOBI®


“The chapter case studies significantly expand data on specific locales within Ethiopia where rangeland, river basins, and forests vital to pastoralists are being developed by both Ethiopian and international interests…Recommended.” • Choice

“Explains clearly how changes in pastoral and agro-pastoral land use/lease in East Africa lead to environmental degradation and depletion of resources… a very important book.” • Taddesse Berisso, Addis Ababa University

“The overall volume is highly coherent, well integrated, ethnographically convincing as well as written with technical clarity and sober positioning …no comparable material exists in scope and focus.” • Felix Girke, University of Konstanz


Rangeland, forests and riverine landscapes of pastoral communities in Eastern Africa are increasingly under threat. Abetted by states who think that outsiders can better use the lands than the people who have lived there for centuries, outside commercial interests have displaced indigenous dwellers from pastoral territories. This volume presents case studies from Eastern Africa, based on long-term field research, that vividly illustrate the struggles and strategies of those who face dispossession and also discredit ideological false modernist tropes like ‘backwardness’ and ‘primitiveness’.

Echi Christina Gabbert is an anthropologist at the Institute for Social and Cultural Anthropology, Göttingen University, Germany. She coordinates the Lands of the Future Initiative, that focuses on pastoralism, global investment and local responses in East Africa in the 21rst century.

Fana Gebresenbet is Assistant Professor at the Institute for Peace and Security Studies (IPSS) at Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia. He has done extensive fieldwork on land investment in pastoral regions of Ethiopia.

John G. Galaty is  Professor of Anthropology at McGill University, Canada. Focused on eastern Africa, his areas of specialisms are  pastoralism and social change and rangeland development.

Günther Schlee is Professor of Social Anthropology at Arba Minch University, Ethiopia, and Director emeritus at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology in Halle, Germany. His main publications include Identities on the Move: Clanship and Pastoralism in Northern Kenya (Manchester University Press, 1989) and How Enemies Are Made: Towards a Theory of Ethnic and Religious Conflict (Berghahn Books, 2008).

Subject: Anthropology (General)Mobility StudiesEnvironmental Studies (General)
Area: Africa


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