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Politiques et dynamiques territoriales dans les pays du Sud

Jean-Louis Chaléard
Roland Pourtier

Résumés / Abstracts


1Alain Musset

2Confronted by increasing urbanization and the growing needs of city dwellers, the Mexican government is trying to establish a legal framework designed to support medium-sized urban centres. These centres are regarded as an alternative to the predominance of Mexico City, Guadalajara, and Monterrey. However, in a neo-liberal economic context indifferent to significant land resettlement, the State can achieve little. The impact of current initiatives remains marginal, in spite of a few cases of incontestable success. The example of Toluca, the capital of the State of Mexico, illustrates the challenges, the progress, and the limits of the Hundred Cities Programme, started in 1993 with the aim of revitalizing medium-size cities and now embracing a population of more than 30 million.

3Olivier Sevin

4Regional planning policies are not very clearly understandable in Indonesia. Due to the lack of national unity, the most important programs do not operate under the direct supervision of the National Planning Board, but are implemented within a more restricted technocratie framework. Consequently, what is not said is far more important than what is clearly expressed.

5Frédéric Landy

6The role of the State in spatial organisation has been essential in so-called «socialist» India. However different tendencies can be identified, ranging from homogenisation policies following Independence, to policies favouring a spatially and socially concentrated development both at the start of the Green Revolution and following the 1991 structural adjustment programme. The case of fertilisers and, more broadly, the whole food policy (agricultural prices, procurement and redistribution of grains) highlight these hesitations. The result is a complex and rather rigid System, whose objective of national integration did not eliminate social inequalities and rivalries between Union States.

7Frédéric Giraut

8A parallel analysis is proposed of the emergence of territorially based identities in, one, the historic regions (or «pays») of France and, two, the new administrative units (regions, préfectures and municipalities) in Niger. Networks, boundaries and régional capitals are compared. Although the contexts are radically different, similar preoccupations are evident, while contrasting strategies provide a better general understanding of the processes at work. As a resuit, certain universal issues associated with contemporary territorial restructuring are highlighted. This is, specifically, the case with respect to the access by the elites to territorially based political and economic resources, where they mediate between potential aid donors and investors, and potentially active local pressure groups.

9Roland Pourtier

10In examining the war that prevails in Central Africa, the article asks two questions: can war be subject to geographical analysis, and is geography an explanatory factor of war? The so-called « Great Lakes » region – the highlands of the Congo-Nile crest (Rwanda, Burundi, Kivu) – has been the epicentre of extreme violence, with the Tutsi genocide of 1994 being its worst manifestation. What explanation can be provided for this situation? Demographic pressure and the political manipulations of ethnie identity may be partly responsible, but it is the global geopolitical environment that accounts for the extension of the conflict beyond Rwanda to the larger Central African « subcontinent ».

11Alain Gascon

12During his reign (1889-1913), Menelik II defeated the Italians and extended the borders of Ethiopia, annexing a glacis of peripheral lowlands as well as the Southern Highlands. Was this a form of colonial conquest or the «Reconquista» of territories lost in the 16th and 17th centuries? The question has often been raised and remains open. Expansion was carried out without a massive transfer of population, and it led to a southward expansion of plough cereal cultivation and to the subsequent extension of open fields. In order to collect tribute and contributions from a defeated workforce, military chiefs erected a network of fortified towns in the new provinces, the kätämas. Built in accordance with the layout and architecture of Addis Abäba, founded by Menelik in 1889, not all these cities experienced the success of the capital kätäma. The present-day urban network in Southern Ethiopia is to be traced back to these towns. The Reconquista should be seen more as a transformation of farming Systems and agrarian landscapes and a beginning of urbanization than as a disruption of the human settlements of a Greater Ethiopia.

13Élisabeth Dorier-Apprill

14During the seven years since the National Conference, which put an end to a quarter of a century of communist regime, Congolese society has undergone an abrupt transformation linked to a context of collapse of the pension-based economy and the redistributing State, civil wars, crime, and urban exodus.

15In 1993-1994, in the summer of 1997, and in 1998-1999, three bloody «civil wars» ravaged the capital, sharpening latent ethno-regional tensions for the benefit of leaders of political parties. Since 1997 part of the population continues to be caught between defeated militias who have turned to organized crime, and victorious militias incorporated into the army and the police, where they continue arbitrary and violent practices. Again in late 1998, fighting between the army and Southern militias resumed south of the capital. The heavy bombing of the Southern districts of the city and the acts of violence and looting by the army brought about a new flow of tens of thousands of refugees.

16By basing their strategy of seizure and maintenance of power on the manipulation of ethno-regional or inter-generational cleavages, heavily arming the youth and knowingly instigating three civil wars between militias, the competing political parties have turned the country in on itself. Nowadays, Brazzaville is no more than an isolated secondary capital and an airline terminal, connected to the ocean by a single railway which is unreliable because of bandits.

17Bernard Calas

18How has the spatial organization of Uganda, with its imbalances in regional development, been shaped by the political history of the country? The paper first explores Uganda’s contemporary spatial organization, with its three distinct regions. It then proceeds to account for their existence in the context of the country’s history. The residual effect on the present of pre-colonial, colonial and post-colonial ties and conflicts are considered. Emphasis is placed on the current rehabilitation policy and on the geographical consequences of Uganda’s diplomatic initiatives in favour of an East-African Community, and of the military involvement of its troops in Rwanda, cdr and Sudan. Finally, the analysis leads the author to consider the proposai that political regulation can only be achieved at the national level in Africa.

19Christophe Grenier

20The history of the Galapagos National Park highlights the substitution of the State by the Market as the main force in spatial organisation and in the concomitant collapse of the national territory. First conceived as a political instrument designed to attach the Galápagos Islands to Ecuador, the national park soon became of economic interest for a variety of actors. Different national administrations, the military and Island leaders control the places where the national park is linked to tourism, nature conservation aid and export fisheries.

21These actors reap profit from their political power. Broken into a multitude of territories the effective controllers of which negotiate access in order to exploit them more and more, the national park is in danger of ecological disaster.

22Pascale Perez and Michel Koutouzis

23In this article, the authors develop a number of ideas resulting from their study of drug problems, their distribution and their management. This is done in the context of the publication of an atlas and of a variety of research projects carried out on the African continent. An understanding of «drug areas» requires the examination of the routes, the networks and the actors involved. Does the geography of drugs – if such a geography exists – lead to a new view and analysis of these issues?

24The phenomenon, insofar as production, trafficking and consumption are concerned, is far from new. Only prohibition – and then again not of all drugs – is contemporary. Consequently, the spatial aspect can only be fully understood if it is examined from a historical perspective.

25Emmanuel Grégoire

26The present text analyses the recent economic development of Agadès (Niger Republic) and examines the city's merchandizing dynamics. The latter are characterized by the concentration of activities within certain groups, such as the Arabs, and the exclusion of others, such as the Tuaregs. The Tuaregs appear to be unable or are not equipped – this is a disputed topic – to grasp the opportunities provided by auspicious circumstances, and they are now left on the fringes of the trade. This evolution is a partial explanation for their revoit, beginning in 1991. With the peace agreements (Ouagadougou, April 1995), the main question is henceforth to determine how the Tuaregs can participate in the economic reconstruction of their country, and whether the community will be able to engage in the process of economic modernisation. Their very survival depends on it.

© Éditions de la Sorbonne, 2000


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