Pastoralists and the State: An Editorial Introduction

  • Elliot Fratkin Smith College
  • Avinoam Meir Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
Keywords: Pastoralists, State Structures


The articles presented in this special issue of Geography Research Forum present a variety of perspectives on contemporary relations between pastoralists and state structures in India, Israel, Mongolia, Cameroon, Kenya, and Somalia. The authors come from a variety of academic disciplines including anthropology, geography, political science, and development studies, but each raises issues of geographic significance. These case examples range across a continuum of pastoral-state relationships into several distinct types. The first set of articles illustrates the situation of marginalized pastoralists dealing with dominant state structures, illustrated by the articles from India and Israel. The second set illustrates complex cases of weakened states with independent pastoral activity, including Somalia and Mongolia. A third set describes weak states dealing with marginalized pastoral groups, those in Cameroon, Kenya and Somalia.


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