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The change in relationship between pastoralists and central government brought about by Ethiopia’s Productive Safety Net Programme (PSNP) is explored in the article “Development, governmentality and the sedentary state: the productive safety net programme in Ethiopia’s Somali pastoral periphery” by Getu Demeke Alene et al (The Journal of Peasant Studies 2021 DOI: 10.1080/03066150.2021.1945044). The case of the PSNP is presented as an example of how bottom-up development practices in the Global South govern nomadic pastoralists in the peripheries of a country. Based on fieldwork in Ethiopia’s Somali Region, the authors show that PSNP practices of client targeting, community-based public works and (international) financial resource flows have advanced sedentarisation and the order of a sedentary State in pastoral peripheries more than top-down State attempts to settle pastoralists had ever done before. Bottom-up development practice was used as a tool for state-building in the periphery.