Changing patterns of rain or power? : how an idea of adaptation to climate change travels up and down to a village in Simanjiro, Maasailand Northern Tanzania / Sara de Wit
VerfasserWit, Sara de
KörperschaftDFG Priority Programme 1448 Adaptation and Creativity in Africa
ErschienenLeipzig ; Halle : DFG Priority Programme 1448 Adaptation and Creativity in Africa, 2015
Umfang1 Online-Ressource (22 Seiten, 0,77 MB) : Illustration
SerieWorking paper series ; Nr. 11
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Changing patterns of rain or power? [0.77 mb]

Moving beyond objectivist stances that are largely dominating the climate change research agenda and international policy making, this paper explores an alternative ontology of the Adaptation to Climate Change discourse. By tracing a travelling idea about ‘Adaptation to Climate Change’ (ACC) along a variety of places and multiple encounters the epistemological and political challenges that are entailed by this narrative in the making are laid bare. It focuses on the power dynamics that are revealed by and fostered through the discursive practices that characterize the emergence of this nascent discourse in Tanzania. It is argued that this travelling idea–which is continuously coproduced and reshaped by varying actors in its journey to the ‘local’ level–brings longstanding tensions to the fore that exist between Maasai agropastoralists and the Tanzanian government. Whereas the government portrays the pastoralists in the debate both as victims as well as perpetrators of a changing climate, the grassroots organizations representing the pastoral communities view the Maasai rather as masters of adaptation. It will be shown how the ACC paradigm is wholeheartedly embraced by several actors along its journey until it reaches the rural village of Terrat, where it is by and large rejected. By shining light on these translation practices it is argued that in face of this emerging discourse, adaptation should not solely be seen as a collective human response to (external) changing bio-physical stimuli, but rather as an integrated process that cannot be detached from adaptations to its discursive formations.