STREAM: Precarious prospects: corridors, grabs and extractions at the pastoral margins

STREAM: Precarious prospects: corridors, grabs and extractions at the pastoral margins

Photo credit: Evans Otieno (;

This stream invites contributions on the drivers, implications and outcomes of large-scale investments in infrastructure, land and resources in pastoralist areas. Long neglected by states and global capital, a wave of investment over the past decade in these areas has generated a new spatial politics. Ports, pipelines, roads, wind farms and plantations are all linked in grand modernist visions. These are often seen somewhat benignly, as part of wider commercialisation and growth dynamics, and even a precursor to peacebuilding and the creation of ‘resilient’ livelihoods. Many powerful actors are involved, from international corporates to states and local elites, but important questions are raised about who benefits and who loses out, and whether such large-scale projects do indeed deliver poverty-reducing development as is often claimed. Panels in this stream will explore, theoretically and empirically, the intersection between recent large-scale investments and local politics and livelihoods at the pastoral margins.

Examples of panel themes and questions:

  1. Grand visions meet local extraversion: theorising spatial politics, governance and the state in large-scale development at the margins
  • How are corridors, extractions and land investments connected to state control, securitisation and the exercise of power at the margins?
  • Who frames the meaning, interpretation and pursuit of large investments in infrastructure, land and resources in pastoral areas? How do investments map onto understandings of state formation, shifts in the global political economy and different responses at scale?
  • How do narratives of transformation and attempts to secure wide political support for these projects compare to the distribution of investments and benefits?


  1. The political economy of corridors, commercialisation and pastoralism
  • How do corridors relate to the remaking of pastoral economies and livestock commercialisation? What new market relations are emerging – formal and informal – in such areas, with what forms of political-bureaucratic contestation over taxes, transport routes and border crossings?
  • How do different actors – governments, local elites, private sector, aid programmes, army or police, or religious, armed insurgent or extremist groups – interact with livestock commercialisation (at different scales), and through what means?
  • What types of resistance, mobilisation, subversion and forms of ‘contentious politics’ are evident around corridor investments? What does this reveal about changing state-elite-capital alliances around development efforts?


  1. Turbines, pipelines and pastures: politics and pastoralism in new extractive and green energy developments
  • How do ‘extractive’ projects situate themselves within narratives of growth, transformation and ‘development’ of agro-ecosystems, livelihood strategies, and local economies?
  • How are ‘enclaves’ of investment (in oil, gas, ‘green energy’ etc.) in pastoral areas generating wider impacts, and who loses and wins from these processes?


If you have any queries or suggestions please contact Jeremy Lind (; Ian Scoones ( For panel and paper submissions please follow the instructions on the website 

Share this:

Leave a Reply