HomeMountains and the collective management of the commons: influences and interactions

Mountains and the collective management of the commons: influences and interactions

La montagne et la gestion collective des biens : quelles influences ? quelles interactions ?

La montagna e la gestione collettiva delle proprietà: quale rilezanza, quali interazioni?

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Published on Monday, November 18, 2019 by Elsa Zotian

Summary

Ancestral collective ownership systems linked to village communities, sprouted from feudal law, used to correspond to an agrarian economy that was generally needed for self-subsistence (feeding). This economy gradually deteriorated for a variety of interconnected reasons. Nonetheless, these systems have managed to survive over time, which is rather surprising. Their presence is still strongly felt in rural areas – mainly in mountain regions (France, Italy and Switzerland, in particular). In a contemporary context of agricultural decline, the disappearance of landscapes, declining allocations from the state to communes and the urgent need to preserve natural resources and stimulate rural areas, one has to ask which roles these communities can play to develop the mountain territories in a sustainable way.

Announcement

Argument

This call for articles that are multidisciplinary (law, geography, history, sociology, anthropology etc.) in nature is part of the COMON project, which analyses the ‘commons’ in mountain territories and is carried out by the University Savoie–Mont Blanc in collaboration with other universities, including the Grenoble Alpes University. The project’s aim is twofold: to gain a better understanding of the workings of ancestral collective ownership systems linked to village communities and to evaluate whether these systems can be used to meet the environmental, climate and social challenges of today.

Nature and identity of ‘village communities’, nature of ownership ‘systems’

These entities’ legal form varies greatly and is sometimes hard to qualify if traditional standards are used. In France alone, there are many systems of collective or shared ownership, each with its own characteristics:

  • hereditary-use commons, where land ownership relates to the commune’s private property, and the residents only have a right of use;
  • tenancy in common, where the land is privately owned but collectively managed;
  • commune sections, the most widespread form, where the land is privately owned by a legal entity under public law, which brings together a group of residents with rights and goods that are distinct from those of the commune.

These systems sprouted from feudal law and used to correspond to an agrarian economy that was generally needed for self-subsistence (feeding). This economy gradually deteriorated for a variety of interconnected reasons: changes in a society that has become less and less rural; agricultural production techniques (grains, in particular) that were not well-adapted to the specificities of mountain soil; liberal attacks based on physiocratic dogma that criticise the ineffectiveness of local collective practices; and, of course, since the time of the French Revolution and then the Civil Code, the promotion of individual property as an absolute right. Nonetheless, these systems have managed to survive over time, which is rather surprising. Their presence is still strongly felt in rural areas – mainly in mountain regions (France, Italy and Switzerland, in particular).

Contemporary economic, social and environmental actions, changes and challenges

In a contemporary context of agricultural decline, the disappearance of landscapes, declining allocations from the state to communes and the urgent need to preserve natural resources and stimulate rural areas, one has to ask which roles these communities can play to develop the mountain territories in a sustainable way.

Tourism, water and forest management, agropastoralism, services offered to the population… these village communities are involved in revitalising the mountain territories to varying degrees. Often, they are also in the middle of conflicts over the use and appropriation of resources.

Goals

The focus of this call is on collecting the results of national and especially international research to explain why so many village communities are still managing collective property in mountain areas, in what forms they do so and what the dynamics are. The goal is to understand how the specific characteristics of mountain and societal environments have enabled – and, then, were able to maintain – the collective forms of managing the commons.

Possible research topics

Several (non-exclusive) research topics can be pursued:

  • A description of these systems of collective management. Why were they better able to offer resistance in a mountain area than elsewhere (economic, social, psychological, climate, legal, political reasons)? In this respect, what role is played by altitude or the harshness of mountain life? By a collective identity and mentality? By a resistance to oppression by the central government?
  • In which mountain regions around the world are they present? (Proposals for international articles are particularly sought-after.) And what does the future hold for the European context?
  • What is their history? Are their (natural, property, moveable) resources typical for the mountain? What quantitative and/or qualitative stocktaking can be done with them?
  • Critical analysis of the potential: Do these atypical systems of ownership lack a future, or do they augur well for renewed modes of managing mountain areas in a sustainable way with regard to not only natural resources and landscapes but also the services offered to indigenous populations or to those who have resettled in the countryside? What are the strategies that the mountain village communities use to exist, resist and survive? Are they offensive or defensive in kind?
  • The place that they occupy in the management or governance of mountain territories: Are they clearly identified by public actors or the residents themselves? What are the interlinkages with the policies of other actors (municipalities, inter-municipal authorities, National Forests Office, parks, chambers of agriculture, tourist resorts, pastoral associations etc.)? What forms of democracy do they propose? What place is reserved for women?

Submission guidelines

Article proposals of between 6,000 and 7,000 characters (including spaces) in length should be sent in French (if the author is French) or in English (for non-French authors) to gestioncollective.montagne@gmail.com

by 1 January 2020

The editorial committee is composed with Jean-François Joye, Alessandro Crosetti Anouk Bonnemains, Sylvie Duvillard, and the editorial coordinator, Olivier Vallade. Final articles are expected by 1 June 2020.

The article must be submitted in one of the languages of the journal: Alpine languages (French, Italian, German), Spanish or English.

The author must commit to ensuring a translation of the article into a second language after review. One of the two versions must be in English.

If the article is submitted by a native English speaker, the second version must be in French. Publication is scheduled for March 2021.

Bibliography

  • Annales Valaisannes, 2011.– Les bisses, économie, société, patrimoine, Actes du colloque international, Sion 2-5 sept 2010, Société d’histoire du Valais romande, pp. 564.
  • Dodgshon D., 2019.– Farming Communities in the western alps 1500-1914, Springer Nature Switzerland, Switzerland, pp. 175.
  • Berthier B., 2012.– « Les ambiguïtés institutionnelles de la "grande montagne à Gruyère" traditionnelle dans les hautes vallées savoyardes. Entre propriété collective du sol et exploitation communautaire des troupeaux », in Propriété individuelle et collective dans les États de Savoie, Serre Editeur, pp. 63-110.
  • Duvillard S., 2010.– « La gestion foncière au cœur du devenir des territoires alpins », Revue de géographie Alpine, 98-2.
  • Crosetti A., 2006. – « Gli "usi civici" tra passato e presente in una dimensione europea », Quaderni regionali, p. 365.
  • Mériaudeau R., 1986.– « À qui la terre ? La propriété foncière en Savoie et Haute Savoie », Thèse de Géographie, Université de Grenoble, p. 480.
  • Michon P., 2019.– Les biens communs. Un modèle alternatif pour habiter nos territoires au XXI siècle, éditions PUR, pp. 307.
  • Mounet C. et Turquin O., 2014.– « Espaces et acteurs pastoraux : entre pastoralisme(s) et pastoralité(s) », Revue de géographie alpine, 102-2. 
  • Rambeaud P., 1974.– La montagne, éléments pour une politique, rapport au gouvernement, La Documentation Française, Paris.
  • Vanuxem S., 2018.– La propriété de la terre, collection « le monde qui vient », Marseille, pp. 103.
  • Vivier N., 1998.– Propriété collective et identité communale. Les bien communaux en France 1750-1914, Publications de la Sorbonne.

Editorial Comitee

Co-directors of publications

  • Dominique Baud, Senior Lecturer in geography and geomatics, Laboratoire PACTE, UMR 5194 CNRS / Institut de Géographie Alpine / Université Grenoble Alpes, Grenoble, France

  • Sylvie Duvillard, Senior Lecturer, Université Pierre Mendès-France, Grenoble II et chercheuse au laboratoire pacte, Université Grenoble Alpes, France

  • Coralie Mounett, CNRS, Laboratoire Pacte UMR 5194, Grenoble

Members

  • Anne-Laure Amilhat Szary, Full Professor at Grenoble-Alpes University / Head of PACTE research center / Member of the "Institut universitaire de France"

  • Anouk Bonnemains, docteur en géographie, chercheur associé au Laboratoire EDYTEM

  • Jörg Balsiger, Swiss National Science Foundation Professor, Department of Geography and Environment and Institute for Environmental Sciences, University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland

  • Jean-Baptiste Bing, Université de Genève, département de géographie et environnement

  • Winfried E. H. Blum, Professor Emeritus, Institute of Soil Research, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU),Vienne, Autriche

  • Sophie Bonin, Maître de conférences, École Nationale Supérieure de Paysage de Versailles, France

  • Axel Borsdorf, Professeur à l’Université d’Innsbrück, Autriche

  • Philippe Bourdeau, Professeur à l’Université Grenoble Alpes / Institut de Géographie Alpine / UMR PACTE, à Grenoble, France

  • Federica Corrado, Politecnico di Torino, Italie

  • Anne Dalmasso, Professeure d'histoire contemporaine, Université Grenoble Alpes Responsable de l'axe Territoires, économie, enjeux sociétaux Axe(s) / transversalité(s) : Territoires, économie, enjeux sociétaux

  • Bernard Debarbieux, full professor in geography and regional and urban planning, Geneva School of Social Sciences, University of Geneva

  • Cristina Del Biaggio, chercheuse invitée (post-doc) à l’Instituts of European Studies de l’Université d’Amsterdam, Pays-Bas

  • Pierre Derioz, Maître de Conférences HDR en Géographie, Université d’Avignon et des Pays de Vaucluse, UMR Espace-Dev 228 IRD (Maison de le télédétection), Montpellier, France

  • Marie Forget, Maître de Conférences en Géographie, Université Savoie Mont Blanc, laboratoire EDYTEM, France

  • Monique Fort, Professeure Émérite (Géographie, Géomorphologie), UFR de Géographie, Histoire, Économie et Sociétés, UMR 8586 PRODIG, Université Paris Diderot, France

  • Marie-Christine Fourny, Professeure à l’Université Grenoble Alpes, France

  • JC Gaillard, PhD, Associate Professor & Associate Dean (Postgraduate Taught and Masters), Faculty of Science, The University of Auckland / Te Whare Wānanga o Tāmaki Makaurau, New Zealand/Aotearoa

  • Stéphane Gal, Maître de conférences en histoire moderne, Laboratoire de recherche historique Rhône-Alpes (LARHRA), Université Lumière Lyon 2

  • Franck Giazzi, enseignant-chercheur au laboratoire PACTE territoires (UJF/CNRS) et à l’Institut de Géographie alpine, Grenoble, France

  • Emmanuelle George-Marcelpoil, Directrice de l’unité de recherche Développement des territoires Montagnards, Irstea Grenoble, Saint Martin d’Hères

  • Luc Gwiazdzinski, Université Grenoble Alpes / Institut de Géographie Alpine / UMR PACTE, Grenoble (France)

  • Stéphane Héritier, Maître de Conférences, Université Jean Monnet (Saint-Etienne) COMUE de Lyon / UMR Environnement, Ville, Société (5600), équipe ISTHME, France

  • Lauranne Jacob, Labex ITEM, PACTE, University of Grenoble-Alps, Department of Geography and environment, IGEDT, University of Geneva

  • Mari Oiry-Varacca, Maîtresse de conférence en géographie, Université Paris-Est Marne-la-Vallée. Laboratoire Analyse Comparée des Pouvoirs

  • Martin Price, Professor of Mountain Studies, Director of the Centre for Mountain Studies, Chairholder, UNESCO Chair in Sustainable Mountain Development, Perth College, University of the Highlands and Islands, Royaume-Uni

  • Manfred Perlik, Associated professor, Centre for Development and Environment (CDE), University of Bern (Switzerland) ; associated at Laboratoire PACTE, UMR 5194 CNRS, Grenoble (France)

  • Léa Sallenave, Doctorante-Assistante, Université de Genève, Département Géographie et Environnement et IUFE (Institut universitaire de formation des enseignants)

  • Thomas Scheurer, Directeur de l’ISCAR (International Scientific Committee on Alpine Research) et de l’ICAS (Commission interacadémique recherche alpine des Académies Suisses des Sciences), Suisse

  • Anne Sgard, professeure à l’Université de Genève, Suisse 

  • Gian Paolo Torricelli, Professeur (Géographie urbaine et  Développement territorial), Responsable de l’Observatoire du développement territorial du Canton du Tessin, Accademia di Architettura, Università della Svizzera italiana, Mendrisio, Suisse

Secretariat

Secrétariat d'édition :

Olivier Vallade, Maison des Sciences de l'Homme-Alpes.

olivier.vallade@msh-alpes.fr

Secrétariat de publication :

Christine Hoyon

christine.hoyon@orange.fr

Date(s)

  • Wednesday, January 01, 2020

Keywords

  • bien collectifs, communaux, montagnes, foncier, propriété collective, propriété partagée, gestion collective

Contact(s)

  • Jean-François Joye
    courriel : gestioncollective [dot] montagne [at] gmail [dot] com

Information source

  • Christine Hoyon
    courriel : christine [dot] hoyon [at] orange [dot] fr

To cite this announcement

« Mountains and the collective management of the commons: influences and interactions », Call for papers, Calenda, Published on Monday, November 18, 2019, https://calenda.org/709723

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