Bienvenue sur le site du projet GOVENPRO. Ce projet, financé par l’Agence Nationale de la Recherche, étudie l’histoire du gouvernement de l’environnement par la propriété, entre la fin du XVIIIe siècle et le temps présent, dans une perspective globale centrée sur trois grandes aires spatiales : l’Europe, l’Amérique du Nord, les mondes coloniaux et post-coloniaux.

Pour contacter le porteur du projet, Fabien Locher :

Pour en savoir plus : Présentation du projet (en français) et Project description (in English)

Special Issue

Crash Testing Property

How Disasters Reshape and Reveal Property Institutions
(Europe and Asia, 19th to 21st Centuries)

Global Environment
, 11/2, 2018

Guest editors: Marc Elie and Fabien Locher

     Property is without doubt the most powerful and the most opaque institution of modernity. Its ever-changing manifestations continually adapt to and support the great transformations of production systems, commercial trade, environments and social structures. Over the past two centuries, it has been perceived as one pillar of our social, economic and political order – yet we barely understand it.
     Much remains to be done to grasp the complex and changing social forms that structure modes of appropriation in human communities. This special issue sets out to contribute to these endeavours by looking at property in two ways. Our objective, first, is to consider what happens to property in situations where an existing or imminent disaster is faced; and, second, to observe what kind of property relations become visible, in these situations, beyond property understood solely as a centralised institution overseen by the state.

     Our method is to probe the inner workings of property through a crash test. Here disasters, whether ‘natural’, ‘industrial’ or ‘ecological’ are perceived as the outpouring of energy required to disrupt the cold and smooth forms of property, test its resilience and measure its ability to reconfigure the real world.
     In return, we hope that this approach, through a series of empirical cases, will provide the readers with new insights into disaster- related situations, their dynamics and how they develop over time: same crash test but different readings. (more)


Private Property and the Defiance of Natural Limits. Coastal Flooding in the United States’ Largest City
pp. 208-218
Ted Steinberg


Disasters: A Crash Test for Property
pp. 219-235
Marc Elie & Fabien Locher

Special Issue Research article

Discipline and Drain: Settling the Moving Bengal Delta
pp. 236-257
Debjani Bhattacharyya

Property Rights that ‘Work’ in the Face of Disaster: Per Share Joint Ownership of Arable in Early Modern and Modern Japan
pp. 258-293
Philip C.Brown

Ontologies of Property: Land Titling after the Indian Ocean Tsunami Disaster
pp. 294-318
Daniel Fitzpatrick

Reforming Mineral Ownership and Ensuring Surface Owners’ Rights: The Gosselies Disaster
pp. 319-345
Kevin Troch

Mitigating Disaster: The Aral Sea and (Post-)Soviet Property
pp. 346-376
William Wheeler

How a Neighbourhood Asserted Its Right to Survive, 1945-1997
pp. 377-404
Julia Burtin Zortea

Other research articles

Environmental History and the Concept of Agency: Improving Understanding of Local Conditions and Adaptations to Climate Change in Seven Coastal Communities
pp. 405-433
Gregory Kennedy; Mélanie Raimonet; Matthew Berman; Ndickou Gaye; Jean-Michel Huctin; Thomson Kaleekal; Jean-Paul Vanderlinden

The Memory of the 1980 Earthquake and Its Aftermath in Irpinia (Southern Italy): Two Case-Studies
pp. 434-455
Gabriele Ivo Moscaritolo