Sons of the Sāqiya: Grassroots Water Politics in Southeastern Morocco

Chappell, John (2019) Sons of the Sāqiya: Grassroots Water Politics in Southeastern Morocco. Undergraduate thesis, under the direction of Vivian Ibrahim from History, University of Mississippi.

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This study examines the informal institutions that govern the sāqiya and khettāra irrigation system in southeastern Morocco. I frame those institutions using literature concerning politics of irrigation, governing the commons, and North African political culture. While interviewing farmers in agricultural communities near the Morocco-Algeria border, five themes emerged as key aspects of sāqiya and khettāra governance: the definitions of irrigation communities, the methods of water distribution, the institutions for selecting leaders, and those leaders’ authorities and responsibilities. Institutional arrangements and management practices associated with those themes show that sāqiya and khettāra governance is rooted in the democratic values of consensus and consultation. The presence of indigenous democratic institutions in southeastern Moroccan farming communities contradicts scholars who claim an inherent incompatibility between North African culture and democratic institutions. The study also examines how grassroots irrigation institutions respond to social, economic and environmental challenges.

Item Type: Thesis (Undergraduate)
Creators: Chappell, John
Student's Degree Program(s): B.A. in International Studies and Arabic
Thesis Advisor: Vivian Ibrahim
Thesis Advisor's Department: History
Institution: University of Mississippi
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DE The Mediterranean Region. The Greco-Roman World
D History General and Old World > DT Africa
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
J Political Science > JF Political institutions (General)
Depositing User: John Chappell
Date Deposited: 09 May 2019 18:36
Last Modified: 09 May 2019 18:37

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