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Structural Chaos: Community and state management of common property in Mali

R Moorehead

Report/paper, 420 pages

The Inner Niger Delta in Mali presents an astonishingly rich and diverse ecosystem, providing resources to a wide range of different users, whether fishermen, herders, or rice farmers. It is also an area of high biological diversity and harbours nesting and feeding grounds for many varieties of birds and other wildlife. Customary systems for management of resources have been increasingly under pressure as a combined result of chronic drought conditions, growing commercialisation of production, and the rural development policies of the Malian government following Independence in 1960. This monograph is based on detailed fieldwork over many years and provides a classic analysis of the historical, economic, institutional and political processes by which common property management systems can be destroyed. It concludes with a set of policy options for empowering local communities to manage the assets on which they depend.

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