16.12.16 - Abigail’s thesis on "Crisis and Governance. Urban Governance in a Context of Crisis: Trajectories of Haitian Intermediate Cities after the 2010 Earthquake " under the supervision of Prof. Jean-Claude Bolay and Dr. Christine Lutringer was accepted WITHOUT RESERVATION !


On January 12, 2010, an earthquake measuring 7.2 on the Richter scale shook Haiti, killing approximately 220,000 persons, wounding more than 300,000 and displacing almost two million others. Although the capital, Port-au-Prince, was the hardest hit and the focus of media attention, the earthquake’s epicenter was actually several kilometers away in the city of Léogâne, approximately 80% of which was destroyed.

Three other medium-sized cities – Grand-Goâve, Petit-Goâve and Jacmel - were also struck hard by the earthquake. These four intermediate cities were the field of study for this research, which argues that this type of event triggers a crisis that catalyzes tensions, reveals structures and can be a transformative factor in the governance of these cities long and often ignored by both research and governments.

The approach of the crisis in terms of crisologie (E. Morin, 1976) was the most adequate to characterize January 12th as an event, starting point of a crisis, to understand the processes at work and to determine its causes and consequences. This research revealed several important findings through the study of emergency and reconstruction governances at the national and local levels and the trajectories of governance of the cities studied through urban development projects.

Finally, this work allowed to discuss the pertinence of two normative prerequisites associated with notions of state performance that guide intervention by the international community: criteria of good governance and the concept of fragile, bankrupt, failing or collapsed State, both centrals nowadays in the attribution of public development aid.

The public defense will take place on Friday 13th January 2017 at the Auditorium MXF1 at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL)

The presentation (in French) will be followed by an "apéritif" at the Cafétéria MX and you are warmly welcome to join us (for logistical reasons, please confirm your presence as soon as possible with this link:

Author:Corinne WaridelSource:Cooperation