What Do you need !?

Examining farmer and herder resilience to environmental and political shocks in West Africa and the Sahel

This session solicits papers generally related to farmer and herder vulnerabilities and insecurities and resilience to long-term and recent shocks. Farmers and herders have developed long-term adaptations to scarcities and shocks like droughts and aridity in West African regions, often involving mobilities, herding, trade, and diversification. Increasingly, these adaptations are threatened by acute and longer-term processes like securitization, militarization, extremism, political instability, ethnic tensions, and environmental changes. While several scholars have examined and interrogated the impact of shocks and insecurities on communities with vulnerable livelihoods, the scholarly attention to resilience, responses, and adaptations remain under-studied. Dimensions of livelihood resilience along factors like gender, age, space, urban/rural, borders, and mobility remain neglected. This panel will explore the various dimensions of agricultural and pastoralist experiences with insecurity of various forms (political, conflict, environmental, ethnic, extremist) and efforts at overcoming them through various mechanisms like diversification, rural-urban migration, sedentarization, forming militias, political protest, and trade.

Potential themes:

-Comparison of agricultural and pastoralist livelihoods and responses
-Critical interrogation of the role of ethnic and communal violence as related to current shocks
-Identifying critical factors and dimensions in pastoralist and agricultural vulnerabilities to shocks
-Identifying spatial patterns in vulnerabilities and responses
-Examination of political and environmental shocks in agricultural and pastoralist adaptations as part of wider and longer-term adaptations
-Examining vulnerabilities and resilience from lenses of age, gender, ethnicity, religion, and geography

Email Matthew Pflaum (University of Florida) at mpflaum@ufl.edu no later than March 30.