Institutions et régulation d'une ressource naturelle dans une société fragmentée : Théorie et applications à une gestion durable de l'eau au Liban.

Abstract : This thesis analyses the foundations and the evolution of the water economy and management in Lebanon by emphasizing the legal, institutional and political frameworks. The study uses a mixed approach combining a qualitative methodology, through surveys, interviews and documentation and a quantitative approach using econometric modeling. By composing our conceptual framework, we seek to define the political economy of the resource in Lebanon and the ties linking water use to land tenure structures. The study is composed of five chapters. Our first chapter reviews the economic literature dealing with the water value and scarcity and addresses a criticism concerning globalized paradigms, mainly, river basin management, good governance and the Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM). Going beyond those theories and using a historic-materialist approach, we propose our analytical framework of a "waterscape" combining the hydraulic societies theory developed by Karl Wittfogel and the "moments" approach of David Harvey. Our second chapter explores, by adopting a chronological approach over a long period, the evolution of the legal and the institutional structures of water management in Lebanon. This chapter covers four centuries of the Levant territories under the Ottoman Empire, followed by the French mandate over Lebanon and, finally, the national construction phase between the independence and country's civil war. Our analysis seeks to understand the historical foundations of the relationship between land tenure regimes and social power during those periods. We also develop in this chapter the pilars that drove the Lebanese hydraulic mission in order to present an interpretation of the dominant discourse in the water management. Our third chapter reviews the socio-spatial characteristics of the water and wastewater infrastructures during the reconstruction period. We extend our analysis to depict the institutional fragmentation characterizing the water public authorities in Lebanon. We emphasize on the water policies undertaken in the country during this recent period under structural adjustment and neoliberal paradigms, mainly, the adoption of the IWRM principles by the Lebanese government and the ground preparation to Public-Private Partnerships. The fourth chapter offers a public good model analyzing the concerns behind the allocation of water projects during the last two decades. Econometric results clearly approve our hypothesis that the distributive politics are solely driven by partisanship concerns during this period with no consideration about socio-economical and environmental features of regions. The fifth chapter develops the links of water use to the Lebanese agricultural economy in order to understand the main drivers of irrigation. We shed the light on the privileges of big landowner in accessing to subsidies following a water intensive production destined to the Gulf countries. This chapter detects the link between country's food system and water by presenting the virtual water balance and food water footprint. Finally, the chapter verifies the state of water in the liberalization process of the country by using a gravity model. From our reading of the socio-natural process of water in Lebanon, our results show that the modes of use, production and appropriation of the resource in the country are produced by a close relation between land property and power, an inherited link from the political history of Lebanon maintained by the confessional system.
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Roland Riachi. Institutions et régulation d'une ressource naturelle dans une société fragmentée : Théorie et applications à une gestion durable de l'eau au Liban.. Gestion et management. Université de Grenoble, 2013. Français. ⟨NNT : 2013GRENE008⟩. ⟨tel-00979509⟩

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