Benessaiah, Nejm

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Name: Nejm Benessaiah

Affiliation: University of Maryland, USA

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Statement of interest: My research is on the desert region of the M’zab valley, Algeria, and the role of micro social movements in attempting to manage unstable natural resources in the midst of social change in Algeria, especially labour, land tenure and water. Rather than looking at national or global movements alone, my research focuses on the micro-level of how changes from authoritarian to inclusive forms of governance are negotiated at the everyday level in the Algerian Sahara, and how these intersect with wider global scales. My current work centers on the potential for polycentric water governance across the Middle East & North Africa through the recognition of local means and strategies, in relation to varying notions of citizenship and legal pluralities across the region.

Geographical/topical area of interest: Environmental governance, environmental justice, social movements, political economy, personhood, postcolonialism, water materiality, ethics and rights, media and identity, urban ecology, agroecology, North Africa, Middle East, Sahara, Algeria.