Thierry Paulais

Director of the AFD’s office for French Polynesia

6 published articles

Agence Française de Développement
5, Rue Roland Barthes
75598 Paris Cedex 12

+33 1 53 44 31 31


Thierry Paulais is an urban planner and has a Doctorate in Economics. He began his professional life in different engineering firms. In 1994, he joined the Caisse des dépôts et consignations, as responsible for a team dedicated to financing local governments. In 2000, he joined AFD as head of the Urban Development Department, operating in Southeast Asia, Middle East and most of the countries of the African Continent. He was then seconded to the World Bank, as responsible for a research program concerning local finance in Africa. Back to France, he was nominated Deputy Director of the Africa Department. He is currently director of the AFD’s office for French Polynesia. He authored several books, notably Financing Africa’s Cities, published in English and in French by AFD and the World Bank.

ID4D Articles


Hybridize the Commons: The example of the Polynesian lagoons

Very popular in recent years, the concept of commons might yet be counterproductive if misinterpreted. Explanations with Thierry Paulais (AFD) based on an example of natural resources management from Polynesia.



The limits of the commons: The case of the Pacific

The management of ocean resources in the Pacific area allows Thierry Paulais to question the limits of the extend of the material common good. He bases his point on the analysis of the common pool resources.


A “world in common”: The avatars of a concept still subject to question

Our planet is a finite space which humanity needs to share: this is the image of the world in common which AFD has taken up as its distinctive signature. This idea of a world in common to a certain extent carries with it the idea of a common, or at least coordinated, governance. In the brief and selective overview of the history of ideas which follows, I recall, on the one hand, that a world in common is an old concept and that, on the other hand, it has experienced a great deal of opposition and vicissitudes over the centuries. In the light of these lessons learned from history, and in conclusion, I express the opinion that the future of this notion and what it covers is still subject to question today.


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