Eroding the Commons
The Politics of Ecology in Baringo, Kenya, 1890s–1963

By David M. Anderson

"The Eroding Commons helps to fill a gap in Kalenjin history, especially that of the Tugen in the twentieth century, which has received little scholarly attention to date. It is an invaluable resource for graduate students and specialists with an interst in land tenure, development, pastoralism, or East African ethnic groups."

African Studies Review

"This book is a most important addition to the field of African history and related thematic fields of environmental history, political history, and (but to a lesser degree) the history of science. [It] is a brilliantly researched and written book…an ample demonstration of the value of local stories to illuminate global trends."

James C. McCann, author of Green Land, Brown Land, Black Land

Colonial Baringo was largely unnoticed until drought and localized famine in the mid-1920s led to claims that its crisis was brought on by overcrowding and livestock mismanagement. In response to the alarm over erosion, the state embarked on a program for rehabilitation, conservation, and development.

Eroding the Commons examines Baringo's efforts to contend with the problems of erosion and describes how they became a point of reference for similar programs in British Africa, especially as rural development began to encompass goals beyond economic growth and toward an accelerated transformation of African society. It provides an excellent focus for the investigation of the broader evolution of colonial ideologies and practices of development.

David M. Anderson is a historian at St. Anthony's College, University of Oxford. He is the author of Eroding the Commons, co-editor of Revealing Prophets, and The Poor Are Not Us.

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In Series

Series in Ecology and History

Related Subjects

Environmental Policy · African Studies · African History · Monograph · Kenya · Eastern Africa · Africa · Environmental History · Colonialism and Decolonization



Retail price: $32.95, S.
Release date: Jan. 2003
352 pages
Rights:World (exclusive in Americas, and Philippines) except British Commonwealth, Continental Europe, and United Kingdom


Retail price: $59.95, S.
Release date: Jan. 2003
352 pages · 5¼ × 8½ in.
Rights:World (exclusive in Americas, and Philippines) except British Commonwealth, Continental Europe, and United Kingdom