Land and water management paradigms in Iran: technical, social and ethical aspects

M.R. Balali, F.W.J. Keulartz, M.J.J.A.A. Korthals

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference paperAcademic


    With respect to land and water management in Iran, three paradigms can be distinguished. The pre-modern paradigm can be characterised by its key technical system (the `qanat¿ underground irrigation system), its main social institution (the `buneh¿ cooperative organisation of agricultural production), and its ethical framework (Zoroastrianism and Islam). The paradigm of industrial modernity can be identified by the partial replacement of `qanats¿ by dams, the substitution of the `buneh¿ by a system of smallholding, and the emergence of a mechanistic worldview. Since the 1970s, industrial modernity has gradually given way to what has come to be known as `reflexive modernity¿. In Iran, the new paradigm is still in its first stage, and must be conceptualised and developed in terms of new technical systems of land and water management, of corresponding social institutions and of a new ethical framework that is sensitive to the specific features of the region.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationProceedings of the International History Seminar of Irrigation and Drainage, Tehran, Iran, 2 - 5 May, 2007
    Place of PublicationTeheran, Iran
    Publication statusPublished - 2007
    EventInternational History Seminar on Irrigation and Drainage -
    Duration: 2 May 20075 May 2007


    SeminarInternational History Seminar on Irrigation and Drainage

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