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Who are "they"? Local understandings of NGO and state power in Masoala, Madagascar


Keller, Eva (2009). Who are "they"? Local understandings of NGO and state power in Masoala, Madagascar. Tsantsa, 14:76-103.

Abstract

In the wake of a global surge in biodiversity conservation activities, Madagascar has become subjected to «global environmental governance» with foreign NGOs playing a key role in this development. This article investigates how farmers who live next to a national park in Madagascar conceptualise new forms of conservation-oriented power. I show that, in contrast to conservationists, farmers do not think about the park in terms of conservation issues but rather in terms of the relationships between local people and outside powers, both Malagasy and foreign. In their intellectual analysis of the present situation, farmers make use of their understanding and memories of history, particularly that of the colonial period, thus connecting the present to the past. This leads some of them to ponder over fundamental issues of social life such as the nature of servitude.

Abstract

In the wake of a global surge in biodiversity conservation activities, Madagascar has become subjected to «global environmental governance» with foreign NGOs playing a key role in this development. This article investigates how farmers who live next to a national park in Madagascar conceptualise new forms of conservation-oriented power. I show that, in contrast to conservationists, farmers do not think about the park in terms of conservation issues but rather in terms of the relationships between local people and outside powers, both Malagasy and foreign. In their intellectual analysis of the present situation, farmers make use of their understanding and memories of history, particularly that of the colonial period, thus connecting the present to the past. This leads some of them to ponder over fundamental issues of social life such as the nature of servitude.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Department of Social Anthropology and Cultural Studies
Dewey Decimal Classification:390 Customs, etiquette & folklore
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology
790 Sports, games & entertainment
Language:English
Date:2009
Deposited On:04 Mar 2010 11:27
Last Modified:14 Sep 2016 13:41
Publisher:Seismo
ISSN:1420-7834
Additional Information:ISBN 978-3-03777-014-6; issue title: Die neuen Arenen der Politik
Official URL:http://www.seg-sse.ch/de/publications/tsantsa14.shtml

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