Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Resource Economics

Dissertation of Oscar Schmidt

The political economy of agrarian change in south-east Turkey

Start: September 10
End: December 13



The dissertation analyses the effects of a large-scale public irrigation scheme, the South-East Anatolia Project (Güneydoğu Anadolu Projesi - GAP), on property and access relations over land and water in the impoverished Turkish provinces of Şanliurfa and Mardin. The interest centres on the unresolved question whether the South-East Anatolia Project has initiated a democratization of access to land and water and a simultaneous society-wide alignment in the distribution of rents from agricultural production. This specific focus rests partly on the understanding that in societies with a high dependency on natural resources, such as rural Turkey, access proves essential to achieving equitable development paths and resilient and sustainable livelihoods. A second reason is that resource access for poor agricultural communities is probably the most often encountered political promise alongside the introduction of large-scale public irrigation schemes, including the case of the South-East Anatolia Project. In accordance with my focus on institutions, I apply the perspectives of Institutional Economics and Institutional Sociology. The empirical analysis is based on in-depth qualitative case-study research in a selected number of agricultural communities in the project area.

Researcher: Schmidt, Oscar

Cooperation Partner:

Advisor: Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Konrad Hagedorn

Funding: Federal Ministry of Education and Research – Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF), PhD scholarsip awarded in the IPSWaT - International Postgraduate Studies in Water Technologies programme




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