• Revisiting tropes of environmental and social change in Casamance, Senegal

      Evans, Martin; University of Chester (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016-11-17)
      Established tropes hold that reduced rainfall across the West African Sahel and savanna from the late 1960s onwards caused migration from rural areas to cities or to better-watered lands further south. It is argued that this in turn caused major shifts in the rural economy, social transformation, disputes over land tenure and use between indigenous and immigrant populations, and violent conflict in places. Alternative analyses, while recognising a role for environmental change in social processes, take a deeper historical perspective and offer a more diverse, nuanced view of causality. This debate is worth revisiting to help prevent flawed, sometimes fallacious tropes from informing development policy and practice. The chapter thus examines paddy rice cultivation in Casamance, southern Senegal, amid broader contemporary contestations about environmentally-induced migration.