Hustling for Rights: Political Engagements with Sand in Northern Kenya

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingContribution to book/anthologyResearchpeer-review


In the arid and semi-arid lands of Northern Kenya, young people are struggling to establish sustainable livelihood strategies in a context of prolonged and more frequent drought periods. Such altered livelihood strategies often constitute novel ways of relating to the environment, and sometimes catalyse altered forms of environmental agency. To people belonging to sedentary pastoralist communities in Laikipia North, one of the few possible livelihood options, apart from livestock rearing, is the harvesting and selling of sand from communally owned sand deposits in dry riverbeds.

The chapter discusses how a group of young people engage in negotiations regarding the management and use of sand. They call their way of operating ‘hustling’. Through an exploration of the empirical term ‘hustling’ and its use in relation to negotiations over sand management, I aim to shed light on young people’s experiences and conceptualizations of their political agency with regard to the environment.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationWhat Politics? : Youth and Political Engagements in Africa
EditorsElina Oinas, Henri Onodera, Suurpää Suurpää
Number of pages17
Place of PublicationLeiden
Publication date2017
ISBN (Print)978-90-04-32244-8
ISBN (Electronic)978-90-04-35636-8
Publication statusPublished - 2017
SeriesYouth in a Globalizing World


  • youth culture
  • international politics
  • africa


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