The lifescape: Production systems and social institutions
Moore, Keith M.
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In chapter 2, Cissé et al. introduce the social and historical context shaping the lifescape of the Inland Delta of the Niger, the core of Mali's 5th Region. Various ethnic groups have coexisted in this area for centuries, generating livelihoods with complementary systems of production. The chapter discusses how recent changes in agricultural and pastoral production systems have unbalanced this symbiosis and increased competition for scarce resources, thereby leading to land tenure confrontations that are not as easily resolved as they were in the past. In addition, decentralization and democratization have complicated the situation in which the modern state and civil society have been superimposed on the modified, but not displaced, customary governance systems. The discussion concludes, with some qualifications, that NGO-driven opportunities for local dialogue and problem solving hold considerable promise for rural Mali.