Seminars & Events

APL (Ajiken Power Lunch)

<How to produce green subject?> Technology, power and conflict in a geothermal project in Central Rift Valley, Kenya

APL (Ajiken Power Lunch) is a lunchtime workshop open to public, including IDE staffs, visiting research fellows, IDEAS students, outside researchers and graduate students. This workshop provides a platform for presentation of any work in progress where we can discuss in either English or Japanese.

Those who would attend a seminar are asked to announce yourself to receptionists on your arrival at the IDE and to obtain APL Organizers' signature on your admission card after the seminar.


February 25, 2016. (Thursday) 12:30-14:00


<How to produce green subject?> Technology, power and conflict in a geothermal project in Central Rift Valley, Kenya


Since 1990’s, environmental concerns have called for adoption of “green economy”, for instance to reduce CO2 emissions to curb global warming and subsequently climate change. One such ‘green economy’ component in Kenya is represented by geothermal industry. In as much as green industries have been widely marketed for environmental protection, their socio-cultural and economic implications on biodiversity and local inhabitants are often overlooked. Inevitably, pastoralists dependent upon livestock as the backbone of their livelihood are bound to contend with social, cultural, economic and ecological consequences of this green development.

This contribution describes the implementation of a green economic project in a contested landscape. By focusing on < contested landscape > I suggest that implementation of geothermal power plants in pastoral landscapes has led to the reevaluation and production of space in relation with the rising of a new green policy in Kenya. First the rising of extractive industries in Eastern Africa in order to exploit alternatives energy sources reshape the geopolitical border of energy as well as the bio-cultural frontiers of local societies. Second, for long the central rift valley has been a central place for nature conservation project. Within the context of the global environmental change and the rising of the “economic valuation of nature” (Kill, 2013), Nature has become an economic opportunity for Kenya. Third technology used to implement geothermal plants have led to the eviction of the local inhabitants of their land and then to land use change.

My research explores the social and ecological consequences of promotion, adoption and implementation of a ‘green’ economy - geothermal development in Kenya. I propose to understand how the local Maasai pastoralists perceive and conceptualize the geothermal in a context where they have to struggle to retain their ancestral lands, livelihoods and conserve biodiversity. Regarding the existing conflicts, we suggest through the case of others technologies oriented to local development that green economy has to be linked with local beneficiaries. Beyond, this ethnography raises the question < How to produce environmental subjectivities >?


Dr. Hazard Benoît (Anthropologue, Chargé de recherché au CNRS)



Institute of Developing Economies, APL Organizers
KIM, Jiyoung E-mail:Jiyoung_KimE-mail
LEI, Lei E-mail:Lei_LeiE-mail
OSADA, Noriyuki E-mail:Noriyuki_OsadaE-mail