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Sturridge, Caitlin (2023) Understanding how Laikipian households in Kenya move, stay connected and adapt through a political ecology of rural-urban livelihoods. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI: https://doi.org/10.25501/SOAS.00039473

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Abstract

This thesis asks to what extent do rural-urban livelihoods build the adaptive capacity of households experiencing a mix of natural and societal pressures and opportunities in Laikipia County, Kenya. It addresses the question of how people move, stay connected and adapt in contexts of change from a different and deliberate perspective. One that puts at its centre the concept of rural-urban livelihoods – a livelihoods framing of moving that up until now has remained under utilised and under-theorised. And one that frames the analysis from the perspective of a political ecology of mobilities – an analytical approach that understands the myriad ways in which people move and adapt in the context of power relations, constructivism, relational thinking, plurality and difference. The thesis examines the relationship between rural-urban livelihoods and adaptive capacity from the perspective of livelihoods diversification, reciprocal exchange and rural-urban changes. The following kinds of questions are explored. For whom and under what circumstances do livelihoods diversification, reciprocal exchange and rural-urban changes build adaptive capacity? To what extent do they strengthen some of the levers of adaptive capacity, whilst simultaneously undermining others? How does this uneven picture balance out to inform adaptive capacity as a whole? And how and why do these dynamics shift over time and place? Three main conclusions emerge. Firstly, that the relationship between rural-urban livelihoods and adaptive capacity is characterised by fluidity and plurality. Secondly, that rural-urban livelihoods have incremental, rather than transformational, impacts on adaptive capacity. And thirdly, that underlying patterns and trends structure a broader logic or direction to this mixed and variable picture, albeit one that remains characterised by everyday contradiction, deviation and complexity

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses
Supervisors Name: Laura Hammond, Andrew Newsham and Peter Mollinga
DOI (Digital Object Identifier): https://doi.org/10.25501/SOAS.00039473
Date Deposited: 09 May 2023 17:33
URI: https://eprints.soas.ac.uk/id/eprint/39473

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