Environmental Politics and Liberation in Contemporary Africa

  • M. A. Mohamed Salih

Part of the Environment & Policy book series (ENPO, volume 18)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages N3-xiii
  2. M. A. Mohamed Salih
    Pages 1-18
  3. M. A. Mohamed Salih
    Pages 19-36
  4. M. A. Mohamed Salih
    Pages 37-54
  5. M. A. Mohamed Salih
    Pages 159-166
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 167-187

About this book


Nowadays, the environment looms large in the analysis of conflict in developing societies, and the precise role it plays is the subject of an ongoing debate. The de­ bate has moved on from the earlier, but still popular, notions of 'power struggles', 'class struggles' and 'ethnic conflicts', to a perception of conflict as the product of intense group competition for resources. Where the state controls the distribu­ tion of resources, itself inevitably becomes party to conflicts whose bone of con­ tention is access to state power as the most efficient means of gaining access to resources. The resources in question are social (health, education, transportation, communication, recreation, etc. ) and material (land, water, housing, jobs, con­ tracts, licenses, permits, etc. ). In parts of the world, and especially in Africa, di­ minishing resources and authoritarian state rule exacerbate group competition leading to political confrontation. This is the line I have followed in analysing conflict in the Hom of Africa (Markakis, 1987, 1998). Mohamed Salih's first contribution in this volume is to move the debate a step beyond this line, which can be criticized as unduly materialist. He does it by bringing culture into the realm of resources, not only as a resource in itself, but also as the agency that assigns natural resources their value. Culture thus becomes a contextual element in conflict over resources whose value is culturally deter­ mined.


Environmental Politics Government Institution NGO Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) development environment politics

Authors and affiliations

  • M. A. Mohamed Salih
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute of Social StudiesThe HagueThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Centre of African StudiesUniversity of CopenhagenDenmark

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 1999
  • Publisher Name Springer, Dordrecht
  • eBook Packages Springer Book Archive
  • Print ISBN 978-90-481-5196-7
  • Online ISBN 978-94-015-9165-2
  • Series Print ISSN 1383-5130
  • Buy this book on publisher's site
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