Schareika, Nicholaus
Pastoralism: Research, Policy and Practice


The purpose of this paper is to analyze stereotypes and prejudices of Fulani pastoralists as they have become an important part of national and local community policies and discourses. We show how these attitudes have subtlyled to Fulani exclusion and discrimination and structured community-pastoralist relations.

Typical stereotypes and prejudices of Fulani include Fulani as armed robbers, rapists, violent and uncivilized. We argue that stereotypes, prejudices and practices of Fulani pastoralists’ exclusion go beyond the normal perceptions of them being non-citizens and a non-indigenous ethnic group in Ghana, but have been developed through social cognitive categorization. Our study found that these perceptions have resulted in Fulani pastoralists being denied settlements in communities and the use of and access to resources. Besides, stereotypes and prejudices suffered by Fulani pastoralists are constructed in the community and media discourses and have been built historically and culturally. National and local policies such as national expulsion exercises of Fulani (e.g. Operation Cow Leg), local community evictions and confiscations of Fulani-acquired lands have led to subtle discrimination against them in many spheres of Ghanaian society.

The paper uses insights from primary field data of interviews and observations, as well as reference to media and news reports.