Resources and Appropriations: Back to the Jerid Oases (Tunisia) after the Revolution

Abstract : In the Jerid region of southwestern Tunisia, the dynamics governing the appropriation of resources vary depending on the type of resource. While it has yet to gain control of genes, the state has appropriated and secured control of key natural resources such as water and land. In the Jerid region, agriculture is concentrated in oasis areas (palm groves) forming unique ecosystems. Based on a field study conducted since the 2011 revolution in an area already examined prior to the revolution, this paper highlights the current dynamics at work in the region and provides a basis for rethinking the concept of “appropriation.” It is important to emphasize that appropriation is not simply a matter of appropriating material resources but that it also concerns the appropriation of uses, practices, and ways of relating to the world. This paper suggests that skills or competences such as these are more likely to be found among local farmers than among agricultural policy makers and bureaucrats, i.e., the official bearers of agronomic knowledge, power, and legitimacy.
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Submitted on : Friday, May 22, 2015 - 7:19:58 PM
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Vincent Battesti. Resources and Appropriations: Back to the Jerid Oases (Tunisia) after the Revolution. Etudes rurales, EHESS, 2015, 2 (192), pp.153-175. 〈hal-01154717〉

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