Browsing by Subject "development studies"

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  • Wayessa, Gutu Olana (Helsingin yliopisto, 2013)
    The study focuses on population displacement and the livelihood implications of state-planned resettlement schemes that have been implemented in Western Oromia, Ethiopia. It addresses the livelihoods of both the resettlers and the hosts. Although such resettlements have been implemented in the country since the 1960s, this study addresses those carried out since 2003. The broad objective of the study was to explore the dynamics of displacement and resettlement, and their impacts on the livelihoods of resettler and host populations. The specific objectives were: (1) to assess the policies and practices of the resettlement program carried out during the tenure of the current government; (2) to analyze the livelihood outcomes of the resettlements for resettlers and hosts in terms of changes in access to livelihood resources and social services; and (3) to examine resettlers and hosts perceptions of and attitudes towards the resettlement program. The theory of impoverishment risks and livelihood reconstruction (IRLR), the sustainable livelihood framework (SLF), and political ecology constitute the pillars of the theoretical framework. Primary data were collected in 2009 through a survey of 630 households in eight resettlement sites, and 68 thematic (group and individual) interviews in 13 resettlement sites. Several interviews were also held with government officials. Households were selected for the survey through stratified random sampling, whereas informants were selected for the interviews purposively. The primary data were complemented with relevant secondary data. The study is interdisciplinary, and combines both qualitative and quantitative methods through a concurrent mixed-methods design. Qualitative methods were used to address how and why questions through thematic analysis of the interviews and policy documents, thereby illuminating the substantive significance of the issues at stake. Quantitative methods were employed to quantify changes and establish the statistical significance of variables of interest. The quantitative methods used include descriptive statistics, such as percentages, means and cross-tabulations, and inferential statistics, such as logistic regression, mean comparisons using non-parametric tests, factor analysis, Chi-square tests, and loglinear analysis. The complementary relation between the two methods has proved useful in understanding and explaining the processes and the outcomes of the resettlement scheme. The research illuminates the causes, the processes, and the outcomes of the current resettlement program in particular, and critically analyzes the assumptions underlying the resettlement policies of the current and the previous regimes in general. Multiple causes and assumptions underlay the resettlement scheme, most notably land and rainfall shortages in resettlers areas of origin, and the government s claim of land abundance. This last assumption has been persistently made by regime after regime, despite empirical counter-evidence, as also shown in this study. By revealing that the scheme resulted in the displacement of the host population to make way for resettlement, that the resettlers were given less land than promised, and that the relocation led to serious conflicts and disputes over land between resettlers and hosts, the study challenges the state s supposition and rhetoric of ample land. The evidence also illuminates the relocation s glaring lack of inclusiveness of both resettlers and hosts, despite the benign principles of voluntarism and consultation. The outcomes were multiple, leaving some better-off, others worse-off, and still others with no noticeable livelihood deterioration or improvement. In cases where old problems were alleviated, new ones emerged in a context of little plan and capacity to meet contingencies. This calls into question government propagation of generalized success in the resettlement scheme. Although little is known about the sustainability of the improved outcomes for some resettlers in some resettlement sites, the evidence from this study also counteracts the depiction of the scheme as a general failure. The findings suggest that the relative importance of the risks experienced by the resettlers and the hosts varied between the two population groups, and among different resettlement sites. The resettlement sites were widely differentiated in terms of biophysical factors, notably soil fertility and the availability of grazing land. This has serious implications for the resettlers and the hosts as their livelihoods are almost entirely based on agricultural activities. Moreover, historical issues, wider socio-political structures, physical infrastructure, and resettler-host relations are crucial for the understanding of how people s access to livelihood resources and social services is shaped. However, resettler-host relations should be seen in a broader context of state-society relations, as the state is a key actor in planning and implementing the resettlement programs. An important policy lesson from this study is that when one focuses on certain livelihood aspects, one also needs to be aware that other potential livelihood components not evident today may become vital in the future. This awareness should motivate adaptive planning and management to meet contingencies in a way that reflects the multifaceted nature of livelihoods. Key words: displacement, resettlement, livelihood, resettler, host, state, IRLR, SLF, political ecology, mixed methods, resources, processes, outcomes, Oromia, Ethiopia
  • Meincke, Maylin (Helsingin yliopisto, 2016)
    This is an ethnographic and discourse analytical study into the onto-politics of traditional medicine in Namibia. The discourses and practices that shape, make and imagine traditional medicine at the international, national and individual level are examined. Traditional medicine in this study is not something that can be discovered, institutionalised, controlled and improved to be part of the modern Namibian state. Instead, traditional medicine is created through the multiple ways, in which Namibians and others already engage, to define what it is and what role it can officially play. It is not a system that consists of traditional healers, their practices and the natural resources they utilise, but it entails practices and discourses of the state, researchers, aid and non-governmental organisations, the private sector and the Namibian society at large. Traditional medicine is a product of international, national, local and individual utterances and practices, and it feeds into the imaginary space of a developed and modern Namibia. Methodologically, this thesis departs from conventional research into traditional medicine in Africa, which primarily focuses on in-depth studies of individual healers practices. These are framed either as cultural-specific therapeutic methods, as individual herbal medical exercises based on plants containing active compounds for potential new drugs, or as occult practices within the realm of witchcraft. This study deflects from the conceptualisation of traditional medicine as a traditional healing practice that is local or individual, and distinctly African. Instead, it seeks to ontologically re-define and re-politicise traditional medicine and to bring it into the wider global formations of subjects and objects in the field of health, sciences, and politics. This is achieved by decentring and deconstructing traditional medicine as a folk category that receives meaning either as a national cultural heritage, an alternative medical system, as a traditional knowledge system, or as an anti-witchcraft practice. The respective discourses and practices on international, national and individual level are analysed through applying the Logics and Critical Explanation (LCE) approach by Jason Glynos and David Howarth, which draws from Foucauldian genealogy, Derridan deconstruction and Lacanian psychoanalysis. To this was added the insights by Lene Hansen s discourse analysis, Homi Bhabha s concept of mimicry, and Gayatri Spivak s subaltern. The data of this study is based on five months of ethnographic fieldwork in Namibia, mostly Windhoek, and poststructural discourse analyses of policy documents. The study s results indicate that traditional medicine in Namibia is discursively split between culture and knowledge. What is envisioned, negotiated and created is a traditional medicine that is, on the one hand, a cultural artefact, a traditional heritage that is part of a national and African identity. It is something that can be staged, exhibited and celebrated. On the other hand, it is a knowledge resource that, once appropriated and tested, is subsumed under biomedical knowledge and practice or under the economic system with the aim to improve and develop Namibia. Traditional medicinal knowledge, therefore, transforms into scientific knowledge or a potential commodity governed by the state. Knowledge that is considered profitable and true is transferred to other systems of knowledge and practices, relinquishing traditional medicine to performances of culture and traditions with traditional healers as main actors. At the national and international level, traditional healers are spoken for and about. They remain in a subaltern position in Namibia. Despite using subjectivities and objectivities created by these discourses and practices for their own advantages, traditional healers do not have the power to change and forge traditional medicine in Namibia according to their imaginations and preferences. Instead, they inhabit and claim for themselves the discursive field that is outside of official and state discourse and practices: witchcraft. On the basis of its ethnographic material this study proposes to read witchcraft discourse as a re-/deflection of the fantasies of development that is, of a healthy Namibian population, economic development and independence, and the development of a modern democratic nation state. Traditional medicine articulated as an anti-witchcraft practice, therefore, addresses the negative side-effects and by-products of social and economic development and its failures. By decentring and deconstructing traditional medicine at international and national level, this study reveals the phantasmagorical and arbitrary character of the various constructions. The occult aspects, which are generally considered beyond reason and an uneasy fit, become just one of the imaginative and performative aspects of traditional medicine . Traditional medicine and its occult aspects, therefore, are not relics from the past. On the contrary, traditional medicine as a folk category is already an integral aspect of contemporary international and national imaginations in the context of health and development.
  • Zeller, Wolfgang (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    Some argue that the territorial boundaries of African countries, having largely survived the transition to independence, are now like a poorly tailored suit: It does not fit in many places but African leaders have by and large accepted that they and their societies must somehow try to wear it. But has history stood still since independence? What is the everyday reality of those who live with these inherited colonial boundaries today? This dissertation investigates how competing claims of territory, authority and citizenship are negotiated between state representatives and residents in the Namibia-Zambia and Uganda-South Sudan borderlands. It asks: What kinds of governance regimes result from these negotiations? From considering these questions emerges the argument that borders do not only exist as an abstract construct, separate from or above the people and territories they are supposed to separate. Borderland actors in the study regions instead actively engage, challenge and thereby reshape the state, over time and repeatedly. They contribute to fine-tuning the state in ways that do not necessarily undermine or hollow it out. However, there are clear differences in how this happens between the more peaceful setting of the Namibia-Zambia borderland, with its annual rhythm of life patterned according to the seasonal rise and fall of the Zambezi river, and the Uganda-South Sudan borderland, where the memory of recent and fear of future large-scale organised violence strongly affect daily life. This dissertation consists of two articles published in peer-reviewed journals and two chapters published in peer-reviewed edited volumes in 2007-2013, and a synopsis which discusses these works comparatively and introduces their wider conceptual framework.