Ingo Breuer: Existenzsicherung und Mobilität im ariden Marokko. Wiesbaden (Nomaden und Sesshafte 9) 2007. 206 S.
In the context of the actual discussion regarding the role of regional mobility in securing livelihood, Ingo Breuer establishes his study at the interface between geographical development, pastoralism, and migration and mobility research. Empirical case studies such as these that are based on intensive field research carried out at the local level are especially rare in the Arab world.
So it is no easy task of Breuer to devote himself to this topic. The publication is based on a dissertation that was completed in Freiburg in 2006 and which originated within the scope of the SFB 586 "Difference and Integration" in Leipzig. From a methodological point of view, it especially proceeds off the beaten research paths and therefore provides a new perspective of the most recent transformation (in the past) of nomadic societies in Morocco.
Based on local case studies that took place in the arid and semi-arid mountain regions of the arches of the atlas as well as in the southern and south-eastern steppes and semi-desert regions of southern Morocco, the aim of the study is to highlight the complex connections between mobility and securing the livelihood of (post) nomadic societies characterised by transformation processes. The book is subdivided into six chapters: Chapter 1 deals with the formulation of research questions. The second chapter provides an initial overview of the transformation processes in nomad regions and presents the conceptual, theoretical and analytical foundations of the study. At the same time, it is dedicated to portraying the methods of investigation. In order to be able to make quantitative statements with regards to the demographic structure and regional economy, a comprehensive household census was carried out in two of the four investigative areas that covered a total of 648 households. Furthermore, based on the selected group of
people, long-term developments in the ways of life and household economies were ecorded with the aid of biographical interviews. The main part of the investigation was a standardised survey on a quantitative basis of 305 households (stratified sample). In doing so, Breuer could generate an enormous amount and variety of data. This is then evaluated and interpreted in chapter 3 (basic conditions of securing livelihood in arid Morocco), chapter 4 (resource based quantitative cross-sectional analysis of the local system of securing livelihood) and chapter 5 (nomad mobility strategies, migrant workers and entrepreneur families). The excerpts from interviews included in these chapters are informative. Chapter 6 provides a summary as well as the outlook of the research. This highlights the fact that nowadays nomads are integrated into a new globalised area of activity, in which they also contribute to their own cultural imprint. Even if they apparently pursue an archaic lifestyle, their daily lives stretch out far beyond their places of origin, in the large cities of Morocco as well as all the way to Europe. This leads to highly relevant research questions for geography: With regard to the level of the Moroccan society as a whole, the question of future conditions for social mobility arises. In the future, the living conditions of the population in the arid regions will reflect even more directly than before the problems and conflicts of society as a whole, with which Morocco currently has to struggle.
The only point of criticism here is the layout and presentation of the maps.
Altogether the publication submitted by Breuer is a methodologically important and well-structured work with interesting approaches for future research as well.