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Pastoralists as commoners and the challenge of its analysis
Pastoralists all over the world tend be very community- oriented societies. This includes their understanding of rangeland as a commons. In the Alps in Germany, for example, the word commons etymologically even originates from the word pasture. While within the research of commons; a lot of methodological considerations have been made, none of them account for the specificity of pastoralists as mobile people and critically reflect on them. In this paper, I look at the methodology used when analyzing land as a commons and how this translates to pastoralist research. How can research best account for that which makes up pastoralists, i.e. a very close and communally-shaped human-environment-relation? Is it useful to relate research findings to frameworks that revolve around the commons, or should more open approaches be preferred? Can established commons methodologies account well for people on the move? A specific focus will be on analyzing the advantages and yet challenges that commons research has with regards to focusing on local rules and regulations and how this can be translated to people on the move.