Local Institutions in Globalized Societies is a comparative anthropological research project that aims to understand how pastoral communities in Namibia govern water usage. In 1997 the Namibian state followed a global trend in partly assigning ownership and usage rights of its natural resources (water, forest and game) to rural communities. In the course of this decentralization process, parts of the infrastructure necessary to secure water supply are handed over to local user associations. As a consequence of these globally initiated and nationally administered changes, hundreds of communities have found it necessary to develop new institutions to regulate the usage and distribution of water in a semi-arid environment.
LINGS, based at the Universities of Hamburg and Cologne respectively, is the first long-term project financed by the German Scientific Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, DFG) within the field of Social and Cultural Anthropology. It started in April 2010 and is designed for a period of nine years.