Confronting Uncertainties in Pastoral Areas: Transforming Development from Control to Care
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Pastoralists must continuously confront uncertainties, responding to high levels of variability and volatility where the future is unknown. Yet mainstream modernising development in pastoral areas aims to create stability through control, enacted through restrictive plans and policies. Through a series of case studies, this article explores pastoralists’ own sensitive, flexible and caring responses, attuned to the instabilities of pastoral settings. The cases show how uncertainties can be seen as intersecting constructions of knowledge, materiality, experience, embodiment and practice, where flexible, often collective, caring approaches are central to pastoralists’ lives. These insights have wider implications for other contexts where people inhabit uncertain worlds, and so suggest a fundamental challenge to the controlling approaches of conventional development.