This panel addresses the role of rural-urban, regional and international migration and translocal social practices as drivers of change in African (post)pastoralist societies. We invite empirically based contributions to assess the relevance of these phenomena across cases and regions.
African pastoralism is changing at rapid pace, as many researchers have demonstrated. Relatively little is known about the impact of rural-urban, regional or international migration on these changes. This is surprising for a number of reasons: First, the usually remote and sparsely settled nature of pasture areas implies that income and educational opportunities are rare at local level and thus engender processes of migration. Second, population growth, environmental change and gradual loss of rangeland are observed in many pastoral areas and increase the pressure to find alternative sources of income. Third, African pastoralists - the same as any other people - are affected by today's processes of globalization and partake in a variety of translocal social networks.
With conceptual approaches changing from bounded and isolated units towards their integration into wider global phenomena, migration and translocality have become increasingly important research foci in the social sciences and the humanities. Recent research points to the increasing importance of migration and migration-related effects, such as remittances, socio-economic stratification, cultural change and part-time pastoralism, which are often related to ever growing entanglements that bridge the rural-urban divide. However, little effort has been done so far to systematically assess the relevance of these phenomena across individual cases and regions. This panel seeks to start closing this research gap by understanding the role of (domestic, rural-urban and international) migration and ensuing translocal practices as drivers of change in African (post)pastoralist societies. We invite empirically based contributions from a broad range of disciplinary fields and regional backgrounds.