The Politics of Environmental Control in Northeastern Tanzania, 1840-1940

Synopsis

"The Politics of Environmental Control in Northeastern Tanzania is a historical study of the relationship between political and environmental change in Tanzania's northeastern lowlands, an impoverished region that has been afflicted by severe food shortages throughout the twentieth century. Politics and trade, the author contends, determined whether the farmers of northeastern Tanzania would control environmental forces. Arguing that neither factor is accorded sufficient emphasis in African peasant history, James L. Giblin shows that politics and trade have fundamentally affected the region's history, and that the recognition of their past importance shapes the way modern farmers judge the policies of the Tanzanian state. Covering a period during which successive external forces - first precolonial merchant capital from Zanzibar, then German and British colonialism - dominated northeastern Tanzania, the author argues that the ability of farming communities to control cattle infections depended on how external forces affected patronage and redistribution of wealth. The most important relations of production were between patron and client rather than within households, so the politics of patronage determined whether precolonial farmers succeeded in controlling disease, accumulating livestock and food reserves, and preventing drought from causing famine. The Politics of Environmental Control in Northeastern Tanzania will be of interest to students and scholars of anthropology, history, and African studies." Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved