"A dialectical framework for exploring climate change and agrarian change: using Harvey’s ‘Moments’ in rural Tanzania

Authors: Paul O'Keefe*, Rutgers University
Topics: Development, Africa, Cultural and Political Ecology
Keywords: Tanzania, agrarian change, climate change, development
Session Type: Paper
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Coulson (2014), restates the need for political economy along with history to understand changing social relations. This is especially important in understanding rural transformation. Research into vulnerability towards climate change has also increasingly emphasized the social factors that drive livelihood vulnerability. This paper explores how we may judge changes in the mode of production when contradictory, overlapping and seemingly disconnected processes are all at work simultaneously in the physical and social landscape. Where does (adaptation to) climate change fit in this context? Drawing on Harvey (2009), this paper explores the six critical moments that underpin motion to a new mode of production, in order to develop a framework for exploring the coproduction of landuse and livelihood change. It expands upon Harvey with empirical evidence from Kilimanjaro Region, Tanzania, and demonstrates the ongoing processes of deagrarianization and deproletarianization , and livelihood vulnerability generation . While engagement in the global economy has fundamentally reshaped livelihoods, the impacts of climate change on the same livelihoods are not yet as discernable.

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