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Geographies of Justice and Social Transformation #15: Silent Violence: Food, Famine, and Peasantry in Northern Nigeria

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Publisher Comments:

Why do famines occur and how have their effects changed through time? Why are those who produce food so often the casualties of famines? Looking at the food crisis that struck the West African Sahel during the 1970s, Michael J. Watts examines the relationships between famine, climate, and political economy.

Through a longue durée history and a detailed village study Watts argues that famines are socially produced and that the market is as fickle and incalculable as the weather. Droughts are natural occurrences, matters of climatic change, but famines expose the inner workings of society, politics, and markets. His analysis moves from household and individual farming practices in the face of climatic variability to the incorporation of African peasants into the global circuits of capitalism in the colonial and postcolonial periods.

Silent Violence powerfully combines a case study of food crises in Africa with an analysis of the way capitalism developed in northern Nigeria and how peasants struggle to maintain rural livelihoods. As the West African Sahel confronts another food crisis and continuing food insecurity for millions of peasants, Silent Violence speaks in a compelling way to contemporary agrarian dynamics, food provisioning systems, and the plight of the African poor.

About the Author

San Francisco, CA

Table of Contents

Preface to the New Edition xiii

ERRATA xvii

Preface to the 1983 Edition xix

Acknowledgments xxv

Abbreviations and Conventions xxxi

Glossary xxxv

Bare Life and the Long Interregnum: Introduction to the New Edition xli

1. Introduction: The Political Economy of Food and Famine 1

Dimensions of the Current Food Crisis 5

Food Systems, Risk, and Famine 12

Peasants and the Development of Capitalism 19

The Study Area 25

Fact, Fiction, and Method 31

2. Hausaland and the Sokoto Caliphate in the Nineteenth Century 39

Hausaland, the Central Sudan, and the Sarauta System 41

Islamization and the Caliphal State 46

Caliphal Administration and Jihadi Ideology 49

The Emirates: Political and Social Structure 53

The Economic Structure of Society 59

The Labor Process and Material Life 60

The Social Relations of Production 67

Modes of Production and the Material Basis of the Caliphate 74

Summary 79

3. Food, Famine, and Climate in the Nineteenth Century 82

Nature and Society 84

The Environmental Context of Hausaland 89

Drought and Famine in the Central Sudan 94

A Hausa Famine Chronology, 1800–1900 100

Moral Versus Political Economy? 104

Famine Genesis and Dynamics 139

4. Capital, State, and Peasantry in Colonial Northern Nigeria 148

Foundations of Colonial Capitalism 153

Conclusion 182

5. Hunger, Risk, and Household Security 187

Hausa Agronomy and Household Production 190

Fulani Pastoral Economy, Terms of Trade, and Agricultural Productivity 206

The Sociology of the Household and the “Culture” of Reproduction 213

Grains Trade, Domestic Storage, and the Minesfield 222

Class Relations and Rural Differentiation 227

Merchant’s Capital and Simple Reproduction 240

State Crises and State Demands 255

Conclusion 265

6. Famine Over Hausaland, 1900–1960 272

1900–1918: Conquest, Incorporation, and Transition 274

1919–1939: Consolidation and the Depression Economy 299

1939–1960: The Wartime Economy and Its Aftermath 326

Conclusion 367

7. Climate, Famine, and Scarcity in the 970S 373

Agriculture, War, and Famine, 1960–1975 374

The Livestock Sector 384

The Relief Effort 389

Case Study: Kaita Village, Katsina 392

Seasonality and Social Reproduction in Hausaland 441

Famine, Social Differentiation, and Class Relations 448

Conclusion 461

8. Food, Agriculture, and the Oil Boom, 1970–1980 466

Economy, Society, and the Oil Boom 467

Oil, State, and the Regime of Capital Accumulation 471

Food, Agriculture, and the Popular Classes 482

The Agrarian Question and Rural Development 489

Agrarian Transformation and the Crises of the State 506

Conclusion 511

Appendix 515

Notes 521

Bibliography 585

Index 665

Product Details

ISBN:
9780820344454
Author:
Watts, Michael J
Publisher:
University of Georgia Press
Author:
Watts, Michael J.
Subject:
Human Geography
Subject:
Sociology - General
Subject:
Sociology-Disasters and Disaster Relief
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Series:
Geographies of Justice and Social Transformation
Publication Date:
20130231
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Illustrations:
27 bandw photos, 1 map, 6 tables, 4 figu
Pages:
720
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in

Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Africa » Nigeria
History and Social Science » Social Science » Disasters and Disaster Relief
History and Social Science » Sociology » Agriculture and Food
History and Social Science » Sociology » General
History and Social Science » Sociology » Poverty
Science and Mathematics » Environmental Studies » General

Geographies of Justice and Social Transformation #15: Silent Violence: Food, Famine, and Peasantry in Northern Nigeria New Trade Paper
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