IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Pathways and Dead Ends of Pastoral Development among the Afar and Karrayu in Ethiopia

Listed author(s):
  • Detlef Müller-Mahn

    (University of Bayreuth, Germany)

  • Simone Rettberg

    (University of Bayreuth, Germany)

  • Girum Getachew

    (University of Bayreuth, Germany)

Registered author(s):

    The article highlights heterogeneous patterns of pastoral development in Ethiopia. The key question is to what extent current changes may be interpreted as ‘sustainable development pathways’ in which resilience of livelihoods and natural resource bases are maintained under conditions of stress, or rather as unsustainable ‘dead ends’, characterised by the inability of pastoral groups to cope with and adapt to externally induced changes. The article argues that the answer depends largely on the state's commitment to pastoral development. Empirical evidence from two case studies among Afar and Karrayu clans in the eastern lowlands of Ethiopia suggests that in the past, external interventions by government agencies and large-scale irrigation schemes have been detrimental to pastoral livelihoods. It is concluded that the future of pastoralism in Ethiopia will be determined by divergent but partly complimentary development pathways, and by attempts to give pastoralists a voice in decision-making over their own development.Cet article met en lumière l’hétérogénéité des modes de développement pastoral en Éthiopie. La question clé est de déterminer si les évolutions actuelles peuvent être interprétées comme des ‘voies vers un développement durable’ dans lesquelles les moyens de subsistance et les ressources naturelles peuvent être maintenus malgré la pression subie, ou plutôt comme des ‘impasses’ insoutenables caractérisées par une incapacité des communautés pastorales à faire face et à s’adapter aux changements exogènes. L’article montre que la réponse à cette question dépend largement du niveau d’engagement de l’État dans le développement pastoral. Deux études de cas sur les populations Afar et Karrayu des basses terres orientales de l’Éthiopie montrent empiriquement que, dans le passé, les interventions externes des agences gouvernementales ainsi que les programmes d’irrigation à grande échelle ont eu des effets préjudiciables sur les moyens de subsistance pastoraux. En conclusion, l’avenir du pastoralisme en Éthiopie sera déterminé par des voies de développement divergentes mais en partie complémentaires et dépendra d’une volonté de donner aux communautés pastorales une voix dans les prises de décisions concernant leur propre développement.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    File Function: Link to full text PDF
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    File URL:
    File Function: Link to full text HTML
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

    Article provided by Palgrave Macmillan & European Association of Development Research and Training Institutes (EADI) in its journal European Journal of Development Research.

    Volume (Year): 22 (2010)
    Issue (Month): 5 (December)
    Pages: 660-677

    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:pal:eurjdr:v:22:y:2010:i:5:p:660-677
    Contact details of provider: Web page:


    24 RUE ROTHSCHILD, P.O. BOX 272, CH-1211 GENEVA 21

    Phone: (41) 22-731-46-48
    Fax: (41) 22-738-57-97
    Web page:

    More information through EDIRC

    Order Information: Web:

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:pal:eurjdr:v:22:y:2010:i:5:p:660-677. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Sonal Shukla)

    or (Rebekah McClure)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.