Opponent: Dr Lecturer Caroline Upton, School of Geography, Geology and the Environment, University of Leicester.

Main supervisor: Associate Professor Lowe Börjeson, Department of Human Geography, Stockholm University. Supervisor: Dr Liz Watson, Department of Geography, Cambridge University, and Professor Emeritus Mats Widgren, Department of Human Geography, Stockholm University.

Chair of the public defense: Associate Professor Marianne Abramsson, Department of Human Geography, Stockholm University.

Examining board: Professor Tor A. Benjaminsen, International Environment and Development Studies, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Associate Professor Annelie Sjölander Lindqvist, School of Global Studies, University of Gothenburg, and Professor Johan Lindquist, Department of Social Anthropology, Stockholm University. Substitute member: Associate Professor Ilda Lindell, Department of Human Geography, Stockholm University.

Abstract: Pastoral mobility is seen as the most effective strategy to make use of constantly shifting resources. In northern Kenya, mobile pastoralism as a highly-valued strategy to manage grazing areas and exploit resource variability is becoming more complex. Policy and project implementation has historically been driven by the imperative to secure land tenure and improve pasture in bounded areas through State-led settlement schemes. Relatively recently, increased (inter)national interests in nature and wildlife conservation on community land in the northern pastoralist regions see conservation and development as crucial and urgent requirements for stimulating economic growth and security. This study presents the case of Samburu pastoral mobility within the context of such shifting social and environmental circumstances. It focuses on changing rules of access and control of livestock resources. These transformations are analysed in the context of the large-scale establishment of community conservancies and what role these conservancies play in the actual use and transformation of space for pastoralists. Empirically, this thesis is based on a total of eighteen months fieldwork including semi-structured interviews and observations in Samburu, Isiolo and Laikipia. It demonstrates how the principal of reciprocal access to pasture between pastoralists is giving way to conditional access based on membership of more formal, territory-based institutions such as community conservancies. It further shows how access to private land may be open for negotiation through the formation of grazing arrangements, which are also used to control pastoralists’ movements beyond enclosed land. In spite of a rhetoric acknowledging the multiple benefits of livestock mobility, current policy entails a continuation of past policy and project implementation where prescriptions still revolve around conservation enclosures and settlement politics. The thesis concludes that such processes of territoriality are likely to produce unexpected and potentially disappointing outcomes, while struggle and conflict persist.

Keywords: pastoralism, livestock mobility, conservation, community conservancy, Northern Rangelands Trust, political ecology, access, institutions, governmentality, territoriality, Samburu, Laikipia, Isiolo, Kenya.