Othering Pastoralists, State Violence, and the Remaking of Boundaries in Tanzania’s Militarised Wildlife Conservation Sector
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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This paper examines the ways in which Tanzanian conservation authorities utilise biodiversity “extinction narratives” in order to legitimise the use of violence in redrawing protected areas’ boundaries. Militarisation and violence in conservation have often been associated with the “war on poaching”. Drawing on the history of conservation and violence in Tanzania, and using an empirical case from Loliondo, the paper suggests that violence in conservation may be legitimised when based on extinction narratives and a claim that more exclusive spaces are urgently needed to protect biodiversity. It argues that the emerging militarisation and use of violence in Tanzania can be associated with both global biodiversity extinction and local neo‐Malthusian narratives, which recently have regained predominance. When combined with “othering” of groups of pastoralists by portraying them as foreign “invaders”, such associations legitimise extensions of state control over contested land by any means available, including violence.