How fit turns into misfit and back: institutional transformations of pastoral commons in African floodplains

Haller, Tobias; Fokou, Gilbert; Mbeyale, Gimbage; Meroka, Patrick (2013). How fit turns into misfit and back: institutional transformations of pastoral commons in African floodplains. Ecology and Society, 18(1), pp. 1-16. Resilience Alliance Publications 10.5751/ES-05510-180134

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We enlarge the notion of institutional fit using theoretical approaches from New Institutionalism, including rational choice and strategic action, political ecology and constructivist approaches. These approaches are combined with ecological approaches (system and evolutionary ecology) focusing on feedback loops and change. We offer results drawn from a comparison of fit and misfit cases of institutional change in pastoral commons in four African floodplain contexts (Zambia, Cameroon, Tanzania (two cases). Cases of precolonial fit and misfit in the postcolonial past, as well as a case of institutional fit in the postcolonial phase, highlight important features, specifically, flexible institutions, leadership, and mutual economic benefit under specific relations of bargaining power of actors. We argue that only by combining otherwise conflicting approaches can we come to understand why institutional fit develops into misfit and back again. Key Words: African floodplains; governance; institutional change; institutional fit; New Institutionalism; pastoral commons

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

06 Faculty of Humanities > Department of Art and Cultural Studies > Institute of Social Anthropology

UniBE Contributor:

Haller, Tobias

Subjects:

300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology
900 History > 960 History of Africa

ISSN:

1708-3087

Publisher:

Resilience Alliance Publications

Language:

English

Submitter:

Tobias Haller

Date Deposited:

02 May 2014 11:04

Last Modified:

02 May 2014 11:04

Publisher DOI:

10.5751/ES-05510-180134

Uncontrolled Keywords:

African floodplains; governance; institutional change; institutional fit; New Institutionalism; pastoral commons

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/49900

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