Crisis in policy, policy in crisis: understanding environmental discourse and resource-use conflict in northern Nigeria
Abstract:This article explores the emergence and persistence of crisis narratives in the policy environment of twentieth century Nigeria. It finds that environmental crisis narratives have a well-established and traceable historical lineage, initially, as continuity between colonial and post-colonial policy discourse, but more recently with donor agencies gaining increasing importance in influencing and shaping debate. Counter-narratives are identified, but these lack historical ‘legitimacy’, and often sit uncomfortably alongside donor-funded initiatives. In light of weak governance systems that impede the development and maintenance of robust data-sets, the article argues that flawed ‘conventional wisdom’ regarding environmental processes and people–environment linkages will combine to produce a policy environment that could actually constrain rather than enable the improvement of rural livelihoods.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 2007-06-01