LECTURE - The pastoral commons in Kenya: gender and institutional innovation

Supported by findings among the Maasai in the Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASAL) of Southern Kenya, dr. Caroline Archambault of Leiden University College The Hague engages in the debate about the ‘tragedy of the commons’, discussing the consequences of privatisation of tenure for pastoralism in this region, where the easy mobility of livestock (essential in arid regions) has always depended on some form of communal tenure. Special attention is paid to the position of women and their views on privatisation. It turns out that things are less simple than they look: not only are communities much less homogeneous that we might believe, with important differentiations along the gender and generation axis; also, not all the women have the same interests nor, hence, the same opinion on the pros and cons of land privatisation. In other words, “let’s de-homogenize community; let’s de-homogenize women”, to quote Caroline.

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