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To Share or Not to Share? (Non-) Violence, Scarcity and Resource Access in Somali Region, Ethiopia

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  • Bogale, Ayalneh
  • Korf, Benedikt

Abstract

It is often argued that environmental scarcity was a trigger and source of violent conflict, in particular in African countries. At the root of such arguments is a simple environmental determinism, which understands scarcity as undermining co-operative relationships between competing resource users. Robert Kaplan popularised this thesis in his argument about "The Coming Anarchy", where he interpreted recent civil wars in Africa as an advent of a fundamental environmental crisis. In our view, this conception disregards the crucial role of local-level institutions in governing competing resource claims. In this paper, we present a case study from the violence-prone Somali Region, Ethiopia. We analyse how agro-pastoralist communities develop sharing arrangements on pasture resources with intruding pastoralist communities in drought years, even though this places additional pressure on their grazing resource. A household survey investigates the determinants for different households in the agro-pastoralist community, asset-poor and wealthy ones, to enter into different types of sharing arrangements. Our findings suggest that resource sharing offers asset-poor households opportunities to stabilise and enhance their asset-base in drought years, providing incentives for co-operative rather than conflictive relations with intruding pastoralists. We conclude that it may depend on potential incentives arising from institutional arrangements, whether competing resource claims in periods of environmental scarcity are resolved peacefully or violently.

Suggested Citation

  • Bogale, Ayalneh & Korf, Benedikt, 2005. "To Share or Not to Share? (Non-) Violence, Scarcity and Resource Access in Somali Region, Ethiopia," Institutional Change in Agriculture and Natural Resources Discussion Papers 18842, Humboldt University Berlin, Department of Agricultural Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:huiain:18842
    DOI: 10.22004/ag.econ.18842
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    1. Gatzweiler, Franz W. & Volkmann, Jorg, 2007. "Beyond Economic Efficiency in Biodiversity Conservation," Institutional Change in Agriculture and Natural Resources Discussion Papers 7704, Humboldt University Berlin, Department of Agricultural Economics.
    2. Beyene, Fekadu, 2007. "The Role of Customary Institutions in Managing Conflict on Grazing Land: A Study from Mieso District, Eastern Ethiopia," Institutional Change in Agriculture and Natural Resources Discussion Papers 7703, Humboldt University Berlin, Department of Agricultural Economics.
    3. Beyene, Fekadu, 2013. "Multiple tournaments and sustained defection: Why do negotiations fail to secure resource access between pastoral and agropastoral groups in Ethiopia?," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 79-87.
    4. Gebretsadik, Kidanemariam Abreha, 2019. "Irrigation Water Scarcity and Antisocial Behavior: Experimental Evidence from Communal Irrigation Water," Working Paper Series 5-2019, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, School of Economics and Business.
    5. Pfaff, Alexander & Vélez, Maria Alejandra & Ramos, Pablo Andres & Molina, Adriana, 2015. "Framed field experiment on resource scarcity & extraction: Path-dependent generosity within sequential water appropriation," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 120(C), pages 416-429.
    6. Beyene, Fekadu & Korf, Benedikt, 2008. "Unmaking the commons: Collective action, property rights and resource appropriation among (agro-) pastoralists in eastern Ethiopia," CAPRi working papers 88, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    7. Jama, Osman M & Liu, Guijian & Diriye, Abdishakur W. & Yousaf, Balal & Basiru, Ibrahim & Abdi, Abdulhakim M, 2020. "Participation of civil society in decisions to mitigate environmental degradation in post-conflict societies: evidence from Somalia," SocArXiv eqn32, Center for Open Science.
    8. Tisdell, Clement A., 2008. "BEHAVIOURS OF CONSERVATION ORGANIZATIONS AND THEIR ENVIRONMENTAL IMPLICATIONS. Analysis based on New (and not so new) Institutional Economics," Institutional Change in Agriculture and Natural Resources Discussion Papers 6185, Humboldt University Berlin, Department of Agricultural Economics.
    9. Johnson, McKenzie F. & Rodríguez, Luz A. & Quijano Hoyos, Manuela, 2021. "Intrastate environmental peacebuilding: A review of the literature," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 137(C).
    10. Adugna Eneyew Bekele & Liesbeth Dries & Wim Heijman & Dusan Drabik, 2021. "Large scale land investments and food security in agropastoral areas of Ethiopia," Food Security: The Science, Sociology and Economics of Food Production and Access to Food, Springer;The International Society for Plant Pathology, vol. 13(2), pages 309-327, April.
    11. Jeetendra P. Aryal & Stein T. Holden, 2012. "Livestock and land share contracts in a Hindu society," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 43(5), pages 593-606, September.
    12. Theesfeld, Insa & Schleyer, Christian & Callois, Jean-Marc & Aznar, Olivier, 2008. "Ex-ante Policy Assessment from an Institutional Perspective. A Procedure for Institutional Compatibility Assessment (PICA)," Institutional Change in Agriculture and Natural Resources Discussion Papers 6112, Humboldt University Berlin, Department of Agricultural Economics.
    13. Fekadu Beyene, 2015. "Determinants of food security under changing land-use systems among pastoral and agro-pastoral households in eastern Ethiopia," Environment, Development and Sustainability: A Multidisciplinary Approach to the Theory and Practice of Sustainable Development, Springer, vol. 17(5), pages 1163-1182, October.

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