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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Desiccation and Domination: Science and Struggles Over Environment and Development in Colonial Guinea
Authors:Fairhead, James
Leach, Melissa
Year:2000
Periodical:The Journal of African History
Volume:41
Issue:1
Period:March
Pages:35-54
Language:English
Geographic term:Guinea
Subjects:erosion
deforestation
Agriculture, Natural Resources and the Environment
Development and Technology
colonialism
History and Exploration
Link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/183509
Abstract:Concern about desiccation - the effects of deforestation on climate and soils - was an early and pervasive theme in colonial science, present at the onset of West Africa's colonial era. This paper examines science-policy interactions associated with desiccationism in Guinea. Drawing mainly on case material from the forest region of Guinea between 1900 and the postindependence period after 1958, the paper traces the uneven rise to dominance of desiccationism in policy and its effects. Until the 1930s scientists, administrators, and populations interacted in configurations that limited the implementation of antidesiccation policies. By the 1950s, however, political and administrative changes, coupled with shifting regional and global agendas, enabled a transformation in the relationship between scientific analysis and bureaucracy. Agricultural and forest policies now aligned closely with desiccationism, extending bureaucratic control and exerting profound - and damaging - effects on rural livelihoods. Postindependence policies showed remarkable continuity with those in place earlier. Notes, ref., sum.
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