The topologies and topographies of hydro-social territorialisation in Jordan

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Most major stakeholders in Jordan are of the view that irrigated agriculture in the highlands in not sustainable. What is less well known is how the highland agriculture is intertwined with the nature of the Jordanian state and its territorializing impulses. We argue that Jordanian state’s placation of the elites by condoning their illegal water extraction and use practices, is an enterprise in hydro-social territorialization in a topographical register. But territory is not just topography, and the vast assemblages of human and non-human actors, e.g., international donors, markets, urban water users, along with water and energy infrastructure, also spawn a topological territory, where networks of power bridge the gaps between here and there, and make distant relationships, beyond the presumed sovereign boundaries, urgently present in local waterscapes. The topological register of Jordanian territorialisation through water, is quite resentfully experienced and noted by the smaller Jordanian farmers. The regional geopolitics and state’s territorial impulses intersect with water and land use practices to produce the deeply fissured politics of, and through water in Jordan.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)74-82
Number of pages9
Early online date5 Feb 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2019


  • Groundwater
  • territorialisation
  • topography
  • topology
  • highland agriculture
  • assemblage


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