Pierre-Yves Le Meur

Senior researcher at the French National Research Institute for Sustainable Development (IRD)

Political anthropology, natural resource gouvernance, terrestrial/seabed mining, land-sea continuum

Pierre-Yves Le Meur is an anthropologist, senior researcher at the French National Research Institute for Sustainable Development (IRD) and member of the Governance Risk Environment Development (GRED) research unit in Montpellier. He holds a PhD (1992) in agricultural sciences and development studies from the Paris-Grignon National Agronomy Institute and a research director certification (2006) in ethnology and social anthropology, on the topic of the anthropology of governance, from the School of Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences (EHESS). He worked at the National University of Benin (1992-94), the University of Hohenheim (1994-98), the Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz (1998-2001 and 2002-03), the GRET (French development NGO, 2003-2007) and at IRD since 2007.

After his doctoral research, focused on agrarian systems and policies in the French and Italian Alps, Pierre-Yves Le Meur worked and published extensively in field of development and political anthropology, more specifically on the politics of belonging and natural resources in West Africa and the Pacific. He developed a reflection on applied anthropology and activist anthropologists.

In New Caledonia, where he was based for 8 years (2008-2015), Pierre-Yves Le Meur led different research projects on the interplay of local and corporate governance in the mining sector, land issues, the interactions between mining, environment, and politics, and the interplay of cognitive and normative registers in the field of environment and biodiversity. Still working on terrestrial grounds around the land-environment-mine nexus in a political anthropology perspective, he extended the scope of his research towards marine areas in the Pacific (and beyond) around the notions of resource nexus, oceanic frontier, and hybrid governance, and in relation to industrial tuna fisheries.

Pierre-Yves Le Meur led the expert panel commissioned by the French-Polynesian and French governments to review the prospects of deep-sea mineral resources in French Polynesia and outline a policy framework in this domain (see Le Meur, Cochonat, David, Géronimi, Samadi (coord.). 2016. Deep-sea mineral resources in French Polynesia, IRD Éditions). He is the coordinator of the Pacific Centre for Social Responsibility and Natural Resources (PACSEN), an IRD-funded network (GDRI-Sud) of Pacific-based partners (University of South Pacific, Pacific Community, Massey University/NZ, University of Queensland, DW University of Madang, PNG, Institut Agronomique Néo-Calédonien). With Colin Filer, he edited a book on large-scale mines and local-level politics between Papua New Guinea and New Caledonia (2017, ANU Press). He is currently completing with Alex Mawyer (University of Hawai’i at Manoa) an special issue on France and Oceanian sovereignties, submitted to Oceania.

Involved in Apolimer projects

Selection of publications

Pierre-Yves Le Meur, Valelia Muni Toke, in press. Une frontière virtuelle : l’exploitation des ressources minérales profondes dans le Pacifique, dossier Le pouvoir et la mer [A virtual frontier: the exploration of deep mineral resources in the Pacific, section Power and the sea] (coord. T. Dahou et C. Mazé), VertigO.

Elodie Fache, Pierre-Yves Le Meur, Estienne Rodary, in press. The New Scramble for the Pacific: A Frontier Approach, Pacific Affairs special issue.

Pierre-Yves Le Meur, Tamatoa Bambridge, Marlène Dégremont, Estienne Rodary, 2018. Les espaces marins du Pacifique entre logiques de commun et d’accaparement [The marin spaces of the Pacific between the logics of commons and grabbing], Revue Internationales des Études du Développement, 234, 2018/2, 9-30.

Pierre-Yves Le Meur, Nick Arndt, Patrice Christmann, Vincent Géronimi, 2018. Deep-sea mining prospects in French Polynesia: governance and the politics of time. Marine Policy, 95, 380-387.

Tamatoa Bambridge, Pierre-Yves Le Meur, 2018, Savoirs locaux et biodiversité aux îles Marquises : don, pouvoir et perte [Local knowledge and biodiversity in the Marquesas Islands: gift, power, and loss]. Revue d’anthropologie des connaissances, 12(1), 29-55.