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IBS Speaker Series: Jesse Ribot

April 15 @ 12:00 pm 1:00 pm

Join in person or via Zoomemail for the password.
*Light lunch served at 11:45, please RSVP.

Title: Modeling Climate-Related Vulnerabilities: Migration and Precarious Lives in the Sahel

Abstract: Sen (1980) demonstrated that hunger and famine occur where there is sufficient food for all –
not from absolute shortage. For example, as prices go up in a relative shortage, well-functioning
markets allocate food away from the hungry – who have no effective demand. Sen explains
food crises as ‘entitlement failures’ – insufficient legal entitlements (legal means) made up of
initial assets (land, labor, cash, stocks) and social protections (formal and informal support
networks). Sen takes assets and protections as given initial conditions. I use ‘access’ theory
(Ribot and Peluso 2003) to trace chains of causality behind ‘access failures’, to explain crises as
well as the initial conditions that generate them. I will present a case with ‘access failures’ that
resulted in climate-related migration from the Sahel.

Bio: Jesse Ribot studies local democracy, resource access and climate-related vulnerabilities in
West Africa. He teaches environmental politics at American University; taught in Geography
and Anthropology at University of Illinois; was a senior associate at the World Resources
Institute; and taught in Urban Studies and Planning at MIT. He has held fellowships and makes
films, blows glass, pots and sculpts. See

IBS 155A

Institute of Behavioral Science 1440 15th Street
Boulder, CO 80302