Access-Authority Nexus in Farmer-Herder Conflicts


Start date: 1 July, 2019 End date: 31 December, 2023 Project type: Research collaboration projects in Danida priority countries (Window 1) Project code: 18-14-GHA Countries: Ghana Thematic areas: Conflict, peace and security, Natural resource management, State building, governance and civil society, Lead institution: Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Ghana Partner institutions: University of Energy and Natural Resources (UENR), Ghana University of Development Studies (UDS), Ghana University of Copenhagen (UCPH), Denmark Project website: go to website (the site might be inactive) Project coordinator: Boateng Kyereh Total grant: 11,689,232 DKK

Project summary

The ‘Access-authority nexus in farmer-herder conflicts’ (AAN) project investigates the dynamic processes of formation and erosion of access, identities and authority in spatial and historical perspectives. Through a theoretical lens guided by political ecology, in particular the concepts of frontiers and territorialization, it understands farmer-herder conflicts as a dynamic process whereby people seek access and try to legitimize their resource access claims. Governing institutions (statutory, customary and hybrid) compete over the validation of claims and as a consequence constantly build, maintain, or lose their authority. This is state-building in the making. AAN offers a novel way of investigating natural resource conflicts as part of state formation. AAN has three objectives: a research objective; a capacity building objective and a dissemination objective. The expected outputs are: (a) three PhD graduates; (b) two post-docs; (c) one international PhD course on frontiers and territorialization; (d) 12 manuscripts for peer-reviewed journals; (e) one panel on farmer-herder conflicts in a major international research conference; (f) case description/documentation to be used in MSc learning activities at the Ghanaian and Danish universities; (g) eight MSc/MPhil theses; (h) ten district level stakeholder forum meetings; (i) two national level forum meetings; (j) three policy briefs; (k) a video documentary on farmer-herder conflicts; (l) one national science and policy workshop at the end of the project. The AAN team includes various disciplines, gender and career levels (early, mid and senior) from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (Ghana), the University for Development Studies (Ghana), the University of Energy and Natural Resources (Ghana) and the University of Copenhagen (Denmark).


First-year report:

  • (a) Three PhD students have been recruited and enrolled in PhD study programs. They are presently taking taught courses;
  • (b) Two postdocs have been recruited and have commenced work. One national forum (inception workshop) has been held to introduce the project to stakeholders and create media visibility.
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