The local politics of land and water: case studies from the Mekong Delta

The local politics of land and water: case studies from the Mekong Delta

An analysis of institutions, conflicts and actors in water management, Vietnam

This document takes a historical view of the relations between individual and collective actors in local water management in the Mekong Delta in southern Vietnam. It identifies and analysis the genesis and operation of institutional arrangements, forms of organisation, rules, and standards and contracts regulating access to natural resources, in particular water and land, in a context of agrarian colonisation and progressive anchorage of the State.

Emphasis is placed among other things on conflicts, why they emerged or did not emerge, the players involved, regulation modalities, and the role of the authorities in arbitrating disputes. The analysis of these process is done through an exploration and understanding of farming logics, changes and innovations in agricultural activity systems, and the insertion of forms of agriculture in a network of social and economic ties with entrepreneurs providing agricultural services. Beyond this, this document situates these analyses in the larger framework of the evolution of Vietnamese agricultural policies and evaluates their real weight in the various national ruptures in the local political economy (colonisation, Vietnam war, south-Vietnamese regimes, unification) and the decisive stages of the national agricultural policy and land tenure reform.

The document is available for download from the GRET website in 3 separate parts.

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