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From the Publisher'Anthropologists and historians have written individual case studies that are of considerable value. Without serious efforts to compare historical case studies, however, it is difficult to obtain theoretical results that then can be tested by other scholars. The collection of papers in this book helps us understand resource management processes over time within multiple settings in five African countries. The focus is primarily on floodplain resources, but includes parallel resource problems related to fisheries and open pastures. Each of the chapters is well worth a serious read. Chapter Nine is a particularly valuable contribution to the study of institutional change. Haller provides an excellent synthesis of the work of the eight scholars who have contributed chapters in this book.'
Elinor Ostrom, Indiana University and Arizona State University
'This book is a useful addition to any African studies library because it lays out a rigorously detailed and persuasively argued model for environmental history and anthropology, [....] It is a very dry book about very wet places, but it establishes an analytical framework that will undoubtedly be useful for understanding the historical dynamics of African socialecological systems far beyond the wetlands'.
Michael Sheridan, Middlebury College
In: IJAHS Vol. 45, No. 1 (2012)