Pastoralist societies face more threats to their way of life now than at any previous time. Population growth; loss of herding lands to private farms, ranches, game parks, and urban areas; increased commoditization of the livestock economy; out-migration by poor pastoralists; and periodic dislocations brought about by drought, famine, and civil war are increasing in pastoralist regions of the world. Mongolia and China, however, have seen a revitalization of pastoral production with decollectivization. This review examines problems of pastoral governance and development including the “tragedy of the commons” debate, threats to common property rights, the effects of commercial ranching on pastoral economies, decollectivization in the former socialist countries, and the current state of development policies of Western donor countries. Case examples from the Maasai and Barabaig of East Africa and pastoralists of Mongolia and China illustrate these changes.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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