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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Social Classes and Economic Restructuring in Pastoral Africa: Somali Notes
Author:Samatar, Abdi I.ISNI
Periodical:African Studies Review
Geographic term:Somalia
Subjects:dual economy
animal husbandry
Development and Technology
Economics and Trade
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/524447
Abstract:This article is a contribution to the debate over the nature of African pastoral transformation and the social forces operating in that process. The conceptual framework described casts pastoral transformation as an integral part of a larger transition from a moral economy to a capitalist economy. The form that commoditization of pastoral resources takes is contingent on the nature of precapitalist social structures and the requirements of the emergent capitalist regime. In Somalia, the transition from precapitalist to capitalist pastoral production did not entail the reorganization of property relations. However, the establishment and expansion of State, merchant and pastoral relationships significantly altered the logic of Somali pastoral production without directly restructuring rights of access to pastoral resources. During the transition to peripheral capitalism, merchants and the State gained from the profits generated by the commercialization of livestock while the producers sustained themselves through the sale of their stock. The stagnation of livestock exports over the last fifteen years and the recent decline of the prices of such exports has generated a systemic crisis for peripheral capitalist pastoralism. The resolution of this crisis will entail a qualitative transformation of the social relations of the existing system. Bibliogr., notes, ref.