Making business in the open: coping with economic and institutional risk and insecurity in the Kafue flats, Zambia

Haller, Tobias (2014). Making business in the open: coping with economic and institutional risk and insecurity in the Kafue flats, Zambia. Journal des Africanistes, 84(1), pp. 60-79. Société des Africanistes

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This paper deals with the difference between risk and insecurity from an anthropological perspective using a critical New Institutionalist approach. Risk refers to the ability to reduce undesirable outcomes, based on a range of information actors have on possible outcomes; insecurity refers to the lack of this information. With regard to the neo-liberal setting of a resource rich area in Zambia, Central Africa, local actors – men and women – face risk and insecurity in market constellations between rural and urban areas. They attempt to cope with risk using technical means and diversification of livelihood strategies. But as common-pool resources have been transformed from common property institutions to open access, also leading to unpredictability of competitors and partners in “free” markets, actors rely on magic options to reduce insecurity and transform it into risk-assessing strategies as an adaptation to modern times. Keywords: Risk, insecurity, institutional change, neo-liberal market, common pool resources, livelihood strategies, magic, Zambia.

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

ISSN:

0399-0346

Publisher:

Société des Africanistes

Language:

English

Submitter:

Johanna Weidtmann

Date Deposited:

06 Jul 2015 07:50

Last Modified:

06 Jul 2015 07:50

Additional Information:

"Making a future" in contemporary Africa

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.70098

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/70098

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