“The Nature-Culture Trap: A Critique of Late 20th Century Global Paradigms of Environmental Change in Africa and Beyond”

The modernization, the declinist, and the inclinist paradigms of the late twentieth century, despite their differences, all tended to frame environmental change in a unilinear Nature-to-Culture fashion, which in turn entailed homogenizing the agency, process, and outcome of environmental change. This article examines the characteristics of each paradigm, as well as some of the paradoxes that have arisen in their wake. Finally, it looks to alternative approaches.

"Property Rights, Development Policy and Depletion of Resources: The Case of the Central Rainlands of Sudan, 1940s–1980s"

Based on a case study of the Central Rainlands of Sudan, the paper challenges the assumptions and principles underlying the tragedy of the commons model and the property rights paradigm with regard to sustainability of resources owned in common.

"Changes in Landscape or in Interpretation? Reflections Based on the Environmental and Socio-economic History of a Village in NE Botswana"

This paper suggests an approach for using different types of data sources, and for bringing together understandings of ecosystem dynamics and of people’s interaction with the environment, and thereby achieving ‘closure’ in a highly contested terrain.