JTPP Vol. 1, No. 1 (January 2019) Article # 3


Explores the complex conflictual themes and relational dynamics exposed by human’s ongoing late capitalist environmental degradation


Farmers Facing Climate Change in Southern Zambia

Richard ‘Drew’ Marcantonio (A PhD Candidate in Anthropology Department, John B Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, University of Notre Dame, USA & Catherine Bolten (Associate Professor of Anthropology & Peace Studies and African Studies, University of Notre Dame, USA)

How do local experiences of and responses to climate change inform an understanding of the relationship between climate change and conflict?

In this article, the authors examine how smallholder farmers in Choma District in the Southern Province of Zambia navigate formal and informal institutions, services and social networks in response to shifts in local climate and ecological patterns that impact their access to water.

Choman smallholder farmers have many response pathways available to them to cope with the stress of environmental challenges. This paper investigates which pathways farmers choose, their rationale, and the outcomes utilising materials collected through a range of methods including household level surveys (N = 224) and ethnography. The authors argue that farmers rigorously assess their risks of failing in their effort to secure water, but this risk assessment is not always successful, and is often fraught with varied scales of conflict from intrapersonal to community levels, which would highlight interrelated theoretical threads.

Honourable Association