Commission for Nomadic Peoples
Statement of the Chair of the Commission

Statement of the Chair

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August 2009 Statement  |  March 2008 Statement  |  Original Statement

July 2013

CNP 2009-2013 Report From the Chair
Dawn Chatty
University of Oxford

In July 2009, the Commission on Nomadic Peoples (CNP) took part in the 16th Congress of the IUAES in Kunming, Yunnan, China  between 27-31st July. The CNP sponsored three academic panels of 50 papers over three days. John Galaty and Michael Bollig organized a panel on Resilience to Resistance: Pastoralist Strategies in Response to Contemporary Political and Ecological Disruption and Change in Africa with 20 papers; Elliot Fratkin and Anatoly Khasanov  organized a session on Pastoral Development: a Global Assessment with 15 papers; and Fachun Du and Julia Klein  organized a panel on  Ecological Resettlement : Local Participation and Policy Improvement with 20 papers.  The latter panel was co-sponsored by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and Colorado State University. 

Many of the papers from the academic panels at Kunming have now appeared in issues of the journal Nomadic Peoples.  A number of papers were selected to appear in a special volume published by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. This same collection has also been published by White Horse Press (2013) Modern Pastoralism and Conservation:  Old Problems, New Challenges, Tory Sternberg and Dawn Chatty (Eds.). A further outcome of the Kunming meetings was the negotiations of a grant  of $50,000 from the Ford Foundation  to support three  special issues of Nomadic Peoples  by local scholars: one by Chinese scholars, another by Indian scholars and a third by East African scholars.    The China special issue has appeared as Volume 16 (1) and the East Africa issue is forthcoming as Volume 17 (1).  The Indian special issue was never developed due to the inability of the Commission team to identify a willing special editor.

The Business Meeting of the CNP was held at the end of these three days. The Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Anatoly Khasanov.  A summary of his biography is available at  A new round of nominations and votes are being managed at the present time by Kathleen Galvin, the Chair of the Lifetime Achievement Awards Committee.  We intend to announce the recipient of the 2013 Lifetime Achievement Awards at the CNP  Business Meeting, August 6th, at the 17 Congress of the IUAES in Manchester, United Kingdom.  

Under discussion at the Business meeting was a plan to tie full membership of the CNP to subscription to its journal Nomadic Peoples.  This change would require the election of a second officer for the Commission, a vice Chair or Secretary to manage the additional obligations that would emerge from this change of policy.   A vote was taken and Professor Elliot Fratkin was voted Vice Chair of the Commission.  It was proposed that full subscription paying members of the CNP would  receive the journal as well as, possibly,  a bi-annual electronic newsletter, and be eligible for discounts on registration fees to IUAES congresses and inter-congresses.  They would also be able to post announcements on the Commission website and its email listserve.  The Commission would continue to manage the e-listserve to all its full members as well as associate members – those who only register on line for the  e-listserve

We are now preparing to take part in the 17th  IUAES Congress in  Manchester, UK to be held August 50-10th , 2013.  The CNP has been granted an academic session on the Emerging World of Pastoralists and Nomads, under the theme Movement, Mobility and Migration.  A total of 36 papers have been divided into nine sub-panels of approximately four papers per sub-panel.  These will be presented on August 6, 7, and 8.  They include  sub-panels on: notions of mobility, sedentarization and human rights; pastoralism and identity in Arabia; South-west pastoralism and transhumance; pastoralism and transhumance in India and the Himalayas; pastoralism and mobility in Central and Northern Asia; Saharan and West African pastoralism, mobility and settlement; and East African pastoralism, displacement and sedentarization.   This is being jointly organized by Professor Philip Salzman and me.  For more details see the Commission on Nomadic Peoples website,  http://www.nomadic  The academic session will run continuously from  9:00 am  August 6 through to the late afternoon of August 8 at University Place in the University of Manchester.  For details  see  

A second academic session, Lost in Mutation: Pastoral Development Rhetoric of the Third Millennium, has been organized by Saverio Kratli and consists of 7 papers.  This session will take place on August 9 starting at09:00 at University Place at the University of Manchester.

The Business Meeting of the Commission will be held on 6 th  August  between18:30 and 19:30.  The room is still to be confirmed.    The agenda for the meeting will be sent around shortly and will include  among other topics, a discussion of our memberships fees and subscription policy for Nomadic Peoples, plans to move to a new publisher, and  CNP finances.
This year the CNP initiated the Best Student Essay Competition. The winner of this inaugural prize will be presented with a cheque for  $250 at the Business meeting on August 6th.  The winning essay by Andrew Alesbury, ‘A Society in Motion: the Tuareg from the Pre-Colonial Era to Today’ will appear in  Nomadic Peoples  Volume 17 (1). 

After serving as Chair of the Commission since 1998, it is time for me to hand over the Chairmanship of the Commission to my Vice Chair.  A new vice Chair will need to be nominated and elected at the coming Business meeting of the CNP at the 17th IUAES Congress in Manchester. Nominations – sent to me - are welcome before the meeting; however, nominations may also be made from the floor at the meeting itself.   

The Commission now has over 160 registered  associate members who are part of an email distribution list, or e-listserve, making communications much easier than in the past.  As a loosely structure organization of individuals interested in nomadic peoples, the web site and e-listserve are important means of communication among Commission members and other interested individuals.  

Dawn Chatty

July, 2013


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