In her new book, Gezon argues that local events continuously redefine and challenge global processes of land use and land degradation. She challenges analytical distinctions between separate 'local' and 'global' spaces, rather proposing that the global is one aspect of the local, to the extent that people in any given locale must act within the parameters of policies, authorities, and material conditions that have sources outside of the reach of immediate local networks. Her ethnographic study of Antankarana-identifying rice farmers and cattle herders in northern Madagascar weaves together an analysis of remotely sensed images of land cover over time with ethnographies of situated negotiations between human actors. She focuses in particular on the interplay of political authorities-including family-based elders, a regional indigenous authority, and an NGO charged with enforcement of conservation policies-in the context of specific contests over resource access. Gezon takes a micro-political approach in evaluating conflicts that result in a change in control over local resources by global or supra-national policies, capital, or personnel. Her book will be particularly valuable to researchers and students in anthropology, geography, sociology, and environmental studies, and those involved in conservation and resource management.
December 2008 Journal Of The Royal Anthropological Institute
[This] book is an important contribution to Malagasy studies and the dynamics of natural resource management, particularly in relation to conservation. The study is a must-read for everyone interested in these issues, precisely because it offers ethnography and anaylsis which lay bare the intrinsic foundations of the local politics dealt with and engaged in by international conservation agencies.
Lisa Gezon received her Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of Michigan, and is currently Chair and Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of West Georgia. She has ongoing research projects in Madagascar and in the Georgia Piedmont on the politics of environmental resource management, and continues her research interests in issues of political ecology in the United States and abroad.
1 Chapter 1: Negotiated Landscapes 2 PART I: Place in Perspective 3 Chapter 2: The Global in the Local: Protected Area Management 4 Chapter 3: Antankarana: Ethnic Identity, Royal Authority, and History 5 Chapter 4: Patterns of Production 6 Chapter 5: Conjunctures of Authority 7 Part II: Resource Use as Socio-Political Process 8 Chapter 6: The Missing Cattle: Shifting Relationships between Agriculture and Herding 9 Chapter 7: Ritual and the Legitimacy of Kings: Rights to Forests and Graves 10 Chapter 8: Making Place: Conservation and the Limits of Royal Authority 11 Chapter 9: Managed Landscapes