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Who We Are

The Commission on Nomadic Peoples is part of the International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences (IUAES). This commission is one of a number of academic working groups of the Union which collaborates with a broad, international range of researchers on nomadic peoples. The Commission has always aspired to be inclusive - drawing in as many interested parties as possible - researchers, practitioners, government and non-government officials, and crossing language and cultural divides.


Its activities are focused on organizing conferences for the IUAES as well as facilitating other meetings and workshops. The journal of Nomadic Peoples is part of its mandate. It maintains an email distribution list for important announcements (to join the list, you may register on-line). Above all it exists to encourage international exchanges and linkages among researchers and practitioners who are interested in nomadic and pastoral populations throughout the world.

Join the Commission

You can subscribe to the Journal and/or add yourself to the Commission mailing list so as to receive the latest updates and news from the Commission. Join here.

Contact us

CNP: ariell.ahearn(at)ouce.ox.ac.uk
Web: web(at)iuaes.org


Commission for Nomadic Peoples 2019 Essay Prize Awarded to Greta Semplici

Portrait of Greta Semplici

Greta is a DPhil Candidate at the Oxford Department of International Development. Her research explores the challenging concept of resilience in dry-lands, by assessing what it means empirically and experientially (from people's experiences and narratives) and how it is used by the 'development machine' – with the intent to unravel gaps in dialogue between local communities and development/humanitarian institutions. This research is an ethnographic informed study of desertscapes based on extended multi-sited fieldwork carried in Turkana County, norhern Kenyan drylands, between 2015 and 2017.

Previously Greta worked for for FAO Somalia as Monitoring and Evaluation International Consultant dealing with extensive baseline studies for the “Building Resilience in Somalia” joint initiative in five pilot districts from Somalia South-Central, to Somaliland and Puntland. She also collaborated with LAMA Development and Cooperation Agency and Robert Schuman Centre (European University Institute) for research on formal and informal social protection strategies in Malawi; and ODI for a study on IDDRSI strategy in the Horn.

She holds a B.A. in Development Economics and International Cooperation from the University of Florence and a Master’s in Development Economics from the University of Florence.

Nomadic Peoples 22.2 (2018) is out

Read this issue.

CNP 2017-18 report to IUAES

Download the Chair's statement 2018 [PDF]

CNP Lifetime Achievement Award

The CNP Lifetime Achievement award is made at every IUAES Congress. This year it was awarded to Philip C. Salzman.

Distinguished Service Award

The first recipient of this new award is Dr. Dawn Chatty who was given this honour in June 2018.


The Commission on Nomadic Peoples hosted two panels at the 18th IUAES World Congress in Florianópolis, Brazil, from July 16-20, 2018. The congress theme was "World (of) Encounters: The Past, Present and) Future of Anthropological Knowledge". See website.

OP 088: Gendered relationships among nomadic societies (Chaired by Ariell Ahearn and Gaelle Lacaze)
OP 199: Climate Change - Effects on and Responses from Nomadic and semi-nomadic populations (sponsored by the Commission on Nomadic Peoples) (Chaired by Elliot Fratkin and H. Jurgen Schwartz)

CNP 2016-17 report to IUAES

Download the Chair's statement 2017 [PDF]

CNP at CASCAIUAES2017 in Ottawa, May 2017

The Commission on Nomadic Peoples presented a panel at the Ottawa 2017 Inter-Congress:
LL-NAS07 < order OR stability > Working with pastoral systems in a ‘messy’ world

Convener: Saverio Krätli (IUAES Commission of Nomadic Peoples, Editor Nomadic Peoples). Presentations included Shinya Konaka, Saverio Krätli, Sergio Magnani, Greta Semplici, Nicolas Rasiulis and Shalima Talinbayi. The panel opened with an unscheduled presentation by Emery Roe, who talked about the ‘mess paradox’ and high-reliability pastoralism.

Best Student Paper Prize (2016-17)

This was awarded to Ariell Ahearn, Postdoctoral Fellow, School of Geography and the Environment, Oxford University, for her paper, A Condensed History of the Public Administration of Pastoralism in Mongolia [PDF].

Nomadic Peoples Best Student Essay 2017-18

The Commission on Nomadic Peoples is calling for submissions for the 2018 Best Student Essay Prize on the broad topic of nomadic peoples as defined in our journal Nomadic Peoples. The Best Student Essay prize is $250 and the essay will appear in the coming issue of Nomadic Peoples. Essays should have been written during the period of graduate study and should not exceed 7,500 words. Entrants would normally be graduate students, but undergraduate students may also apply. Entrants should be paid student members of the Commission on Nomadic Peoples. Deadline for submission is 31 March 2018.

Please send submission to: Professor Elliot Fratkin, Department of Anthropology, Smith College, Northampton MA 01063 USA. Digital submissions may be sent as PDFs .