Unruly Nature and Technological Authority: Governing Locust Swarms in the Sahel

Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/321308
Title:
Unruly Nature and Technological Authority: Governing Locust Swarms in the Sahel
Author:
Péloquin, Claude
Issue Date:
2014
Publisher:
The University of Arizona.
Rights:
Copyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Abstract:
This dissertation examines how states and international organizations respond to complex ecological problems that are mismatched to their management capacity. The study concentrates on effort by scientific advisors, technicians, and bureaucrats to manage the population dynamics of the desert locust, Schistocerca gegaria in Western and Northern Africa. Desert locusts periodically invade crops and pastures, where they cause massive depredations that undermine agricultural productivity and food security, often in extremely impoverished regions. The immensely complex and bio-geographically stochastic breeding and gregarization dynamics of the desert locust put the insect at odds with the conventional spatiality of the state. This make it difficult for managers to precisely predict and effectively control locust outbreaks and invasions. To better understand the factors shaping institutional responses to this insect, I address three interrelated questions primarily informed by political ecology, political geography, and critical development studies: (1) What historical trajectory yielded the contemporary configuration of locust control? (2) Why do some approaches to locust management become selected over others amongst experts and organizations? (3) What is the relationship between the spatial dynamics of locust outbreaks and invasions, on the one hand, and the spatial logic and imperatives of the state? Analysis of interviews, field observations, and archival records indicates that the ability of the desert locust to evade and exceed the conventional spatiality of the state has made this pest problem an appealing field to innovate and enact new regimes of governance that operate transnationally. This has embedded locust control in the historical arc spanning from formal colonialism to the current configuration of independent states supported by international programs of foreign aid and technical assistance. In this context, concerns for the professional viability of locust expertise within state agencies and international organizations favor the selection of strategies that best fit the modalities of access to development aid and resources. This motivates state-mandated locust managers to favor the adoption of locust control strategies that are best aligned with capacity building goals of these programs, and that incorporate locust management in broader interventions of social and environmental improvement.
Type:
text; Electronic Dissertation
Keywords:
Development studies; Insects; Locusts; Political ecology; Political Geography; Geography; Africa
Degree Name:
Ph.D.
Degree Level:
doctoral
Degree Program:
Graduate College; Geography
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Advisor:
Robbins, Paul F.

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoen_USen
dc.titleUnruly Nature and Technological Authority: Governing Locust Swarms in the Sahelen_US
dc.creatorPéloquin, Claudeen_US
dc.contributor.authorPéloquin, Claudeen_US
dc.date.issued2014-
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en_US
dc.rightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.en_US
dc.description.abstractThis dissertation examines how states and international organizations respond to complex ecological problems that are mismatched to their management capacity. The study concentrates on effort by scientific advisors, technicians, and bureaucrats to manage the population dynamics of the desert locust, Schistocerca gegaria in Western and Northern Africa. Desert locusts periodically invade crops and pastures, where they cause massive depredations that undermine agricultural productivity and food security, often in extremely impoverished regions. The immensely complex and bio-geographically stochastic breeding and gregarization dynamics of the desert locust put the insect at odds with the conventional spatiality of the state. This make it difficult for managers to precisely predict and effectively control locust outbreaks and invasions. To better understand the factors shaping institutional responses to this insect, I address three interrelated questions primarily informed by political ecology, political geography, and critical development studies: (1) What historical trajectory yielded the contemporary configuration of locust control? (2) Why do some approaches to locust management become selected over others amongst experts and organizations? (3) What is the relationship between the spatial dynamics of locust outbreaks and invasions, on the one hand, and the spatial logic and imperatives of the state? Analysis of interviews, field observations, and archival records indicates that the ability of the desert locust to evade and exceed the conventional spatiality of the state has made this pest problem an appealing field to innovate and enact new regimes of governance that operate transnationally. This has embedded locust control in the historical arc spanning from formal colonialism to the current configuration of independent states supported by international programs of foreign aid and technical assistance. In this context, concerns for the professional viability of locust expertise within state agencies and international organizations favor the selection of strategies that best fit the modalities of access to development aid and resources. This motivates state-mandated locust managers to favor the adoption of locust control strategies that are best aligned with capacity building goals of these programs, and that incorporate locust management in broader interventions of social and environmental improvement.en_US
dc.typetexten
dc.typeElectronic Dissertationen
dc.subjectDevelopment studiesen_US
dc.subjectInsectsen_US
dc.subjectLocustsen_US
dc.subjectPolitical ecologyen_US
dc.subjectPolitical Geographyen_US
dc.subjectGeographyen_US
dc.subjectAfricaen_US
thesis.degree.namePh.D.en_US
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate Collegeen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineGeographyen_US
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen_US
dc.contributor.advisorRobbins, Paul F.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberRobbins, Paul F.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberMarston, Sallie A.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberOgelsby, Elizabeth A.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberAustin, Diane E.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberBenjaminsen, Toren_US
All Items in UA Campus Repository are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.