Menestrey Schwieger, Diego Augusto (2012). Institutions and Conflict. An Ethnographic Study of Communal Water Management in North-West Namibia. Masters thesis, Universität zu Köln.


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This work supervised by Prof. Dr. Michael Schnegg, addresses the question how a community in rural Namibia copes with the development of new institutions for the administration and distribution of water. The analysis of this topic takes place against the background that in Namibia the responsibility for the water management and supply in rural communities has been handed over by the state to the local users in the last years. In the course of this process hundreds of communities must develop new institutions in order to pump up and to distribute the groundwater. The present work is based on several months of fieldwork in the region and was promoted in cooperation between the University of Hamburg, the United Nations University in Bonn and the Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology of the University of Cologne. By means of thick ethnographic descriptions the work shows that Knight's theoretic model is most suitable for understanding the process of institutional change. Here, institutions are the result of the conflict over the access and control of resources (the water supply) and less the result from collective action towards common welfare. Furthermore it is shown that the emergence of institutions concerning the water management can only be understood adequately if its connection with other resources (particularly land) and its embeddedness in further social and political fields are considered. In the work the author succeeds in analyzing a complex process of social change and in gaining new insights into how institutions emerge and into when conflict arises.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters thesis)
Menestrey Schwieger, Diego AugustoUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
URN: urn:nbn:de:hbz:38-47457
Journal or Publication Title: Kölner Ethnologische Beiträge
ISSN: 1611-4531
Volume: 39
Subjects: Customs, etiquette, folklore
Uncontrolled Keywords:
MA thesisEnglish
Water ManagementEnglish
Institutional changeEnglish
Faculty: Faculty of Arts and Humanities
Divisions: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Fächergruppe 4: Außereuropäische Sprachen, Kulturen und Gesellschaften > Institut für Ethnologie
Language: English
Date: 2012
Date of oral exam: 2010
NameAcademic Title
Bollig, MichaelProf. Dr.
Refereed: Yes


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