En Fr



  • Centre d'Etudes Himalayennes
    UPR 299 - CNRS
  • Campus Condorcet
  • Bâtiment de recherche Sud
  • 5, cours des Humanités
  • 93300 Aubervilliers
  • France
  • Tel : 01 88 12 11 03
  • himalaya[at]
  • How to get here
  • Intranet

Home > Staff members > PhD students and postdocs


PhD student in Human Geography at the University of Fribourg (Switzerland)

Contact :; mobile +3363040786

Research Adviser: Olivia Aubriot (Centre for Himalayan Studies)

Title of thesis: Water User Associations and local governance in the Nepalese Tarai

In light of the scholarly literature produced since the 1960s, today it is difficult to challenge the political dimension of water. From the controversial Oriental Despotism by Wittfogel (1957) to the Hydrosocial Cycle concept of Linton and Budds (2014), human sciences have taken up the topic to demonstrate the dialectical relationship between water and the political order of any form of society. Although society could not have existed without water, the management of this water has developed in accordance with the characteristics of human societies, and has been shaped by different government rationalities through history and the world. Water management is both a reflection of a political rationality and the catalyst that triggers social struggles between different political rationalities (Boelens et al., 2016). Since the 1980s, in feeding on the defeat of state interventionism, and embracing Ostrom’s "third solution", that is of managing natural resources collectively, the neoliberal politico-economic paradigm has dominated irrigation development projects. The non-stop motto of international stakeholders has been "Participatory Irrigation Management" (PIM). This thesis sets out to present PIM as the scheduled outcome of a political rationality which aims at creating artificial commons and is confronted with a particular local social reality, that of the East of the Nepalese plains, a territory that has withstood complex economic, social and political relations. It is therefore a question of studying the dynamic process of integration between these two elements in order to try to rethink the nature of Water User Associations (WUA) as political entities forming an integral part of the local game of political governance.

- irrigation
- political rationality
- association of irrigators
- power
- hydrosociality
- socio-technical

2015, "Construction de la plaine rizicole du Népal : sous le prisme de la gestion de l’eau et des processus de territorialisation dans le Sunsari" - en collaboration avec Candau Marie-Amélie, Valadaud Romain. Espace Géographique 2015-2 (45) : pp. 160-173. Abstract

2017, “A Combined Analytical Narrative to Study the Politicization of Irrigation Management in the Tarai: Critical Realism, Hydrosocial Theory and Sociotechnical Approach”, Annual Conference on Nepal and the Himalayas, "Diminishing Returns of Resources in Nepal" panel, Kathmandu, 28 July.

View online : "Thèse au Népal : entre solitude et jubilation" (in French)