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Fulani on the Move: Seasonal Economic Migration in the Sahel as a Social Process


  • Kate Hampshire


Most research on short-term rural to urban migration and its impacts takes an economic approach and often emphasises negative aspects of migration, linking it synergistically with rural poverty in sending areas. Data from Fulani migrants in Northern Burkina Faso challenge this pessimistic view of short-term labour migration. Rather than a response to destitution, migration seems to be a useful way in which reasonably prosperous households can further enhance livelihood security. Moreover, factors not easily incorporated into a standard economic analysis, identity and village networks, emerge as being essential to the understanding of migration in this population. Finally, migration emerges as a highly dynamic process, which an ahistorical, static framework of analysis fails to capture.

Suggested Citation

  • Kate Hampshire, 2002. "Fulani on the Move: Seasonal Economic Migration in the Sahel as a Social Process," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 38(5), pages 15-36.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jdevst:v:38:y:2002:i:5:p:15-36
    DOI: 10.1080/00220380412331322491

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. de Haas, Hein, 2009. "Mobility and Human Development," MPRA Paper 19176, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Adama Konseiga, 2007. "Household Migration Decisions as Survival Strategy: The Case of Burkina Faso," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 16(2), pages 198-233, March.
    3. Elisabeth Hyo-Chung Chung & Charlotte Guénard, 2012. "Mobilités, vulnérabilité et capital social: une analyse en milieu rural sénégalais," Working Papers DT/2012/16, DIAL (Développement, Institutions et Mondialisation).
    4. Bakewell, Oliver, 2009. "South-South Migration and Human Development: Reflections on African Experiences," MPRA Paper 19185, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Robert McLeman, 2013. "Developments in modelling of climate change-related migration," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 117(3), pages 599-611, April.
    6. Vanessa Dreier & Papa Sow, 2015. "Bialaba Migrants from the Northern of Benin to Nigeria, in Search of Productive Land—Insights for Living with Climate Change," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 7(3), pages 1-29, March.
    7. Rachel Sabates-Wheeler & Ricardo Sabates & Adriana Castaldo, 2008. "Tackling Poverty-migration Linkages: Evidence from Ghana and Egypt," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 87(2), pages 307-328, June.
    8. Cris Beauchemin & Lama Kabbanji & Bruno Schoumaker, 2009. "Entre parcours de vie des migrants et attentes politiques, quel co-développement en Afrique subsaharienne," Working Papers 166, Institut National d'Études Démographiques (INED).


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