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Aux origines de l’action : la capacité d’action? Logiques des acteurs et leurs maîtrises d’enjeux communs dans le cas d’associations d’irrigants en Tunisie.

Abstract : In Tunisia, the management of irrigation schemes has gradually been transferred to water users associations since 1987. This transfer of irrigation management is generally considered to be inefficient by both researchers and civil servants. Recent debates on this issue signal an interest to go beyond the analysis of just the conditions of success and failure, and instead, focus on the forms of coordination resulting from these institutional reforms. One such study may be based on actors' agency, i.e. their ability to act within the socio-technical system (STS) based on the farmer managed irrigation scheme. This thesis aims to analyze to what extent and how the actors of these STSs act individually and/or collectively to manage their irrigation schemes. We analyzed three of these STSs and focused on three issues requiring coordination and/or negotiations around the distribution of water for each of these STSs. Instead of attempting to reveal actors’ “intrinsic” agency, we have analyzed, for each issue, actors’ rationale (the meaning that they give to their actions on the basis of their understanding of the STS, their goals and strategies), actors’ control (their ability to achieve their objectives), and the evolution of their rationale and control in the frame of learning processes. The actors of the studied STSs adopted individual strategies in three situations: (i) when they believe they have sufficient individual control over a given issue; (ii) when they consider that they do not have the opportunity to succeed with collective action; or (iii) when they fail to initiate or be part of a coalition. For each irrigation management issue analyzed, we identified the type of collective control, according to the actors involved and the level of their coordination. Thus, we were able to position the collective control upon a coordination gradient including: (i) the absence of common diagnoses between actors on the solutions faced; (ii) the inability of a group of actors to implement the solutions they have already identified as relevant for this group; or (iii) the existence of a coalition to implement these solutions. Analyzing differing degrees of collective control enriches the concept of agency at two levels. First, within the same STS, coalitions may vary widely, both in terms of the degree of coordination and the actors involved. Thus, making an analysis that would be focused on qualifying a generic collective agency for all actors in a specific STS would lead to a strong approximation in the studied cases. Second, the analysis of the different degrees of coordination helped reveal, for each specific issue, the stumbling blocks towards enhanced coordination. Thus, our analytical approach enables the design of adapted interventions based on the specificities of each studied STS.
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Contributor : Azza Ben Mustapha <>
Submitted on : Monday, May 29, 2017 - 3:33:51 PM
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  • HAL Id : tel-01528653, version 1


Azza Ben Mustapha Jacox. Aux origines de l’action : la capacité d’action? Logiques des acteurs et leurs maîtrises d’enjeux communs dans le cas d’associations d’irrigants en Tunisie.. Environnement et Société. Agroparistech 2016. Français. ⟨tel-01528653v1⟩



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