Rural History 2015

Panel 56

Organizers: Stagno, Anna Maria (1); Tigrino, Vittorio (2)

Affiliation: 1: University of the Basque Country, Spain; 2: Università del Piemonte Orientale, Italy

Title: Common lands and conflicts: Historical and archaeological perspectives

"The social, economic and juridical dimensions of common-lands (meadows, pastures, woods, etc.) have long been studied by historians. However, despite the complexity of their different uses and the permanence of communal exploitation rights being crucial in shaping rural landscapes, only recently, by one side, historians have begun to demonstrate interest in the qualification of the environmental resources of commons and their articulation, and by the other side archaeologists are started to consider the possibility to study the material effects of common access rights. The panel offers a forum for the discussion and the comparison of the historical and the archaeological perspective, in order to focus on conflicts as the main topic for addressing the dynamicity of common-lands.
The articulation of local rights over collective resources has strong relationships with the shape of the settlements, and with the definition of local social groups and their political agency. This is the reason why we would like to discuss - with an analytical approach and through a series of case studies referring to different mountain areas of Europe - how conflicts in history have been strategic for the managements of common resources, not just in a negative way (as, for example, has been defined by studies devoted to the neo-institutional approach).
Through a local scale of analysis, our proposal will try to demonstrate that:
- conflicts were the tool through which local actors negotiated the access rights to commons, guaranteeing a dynamic sustainability between social competition and equal & durable access to environmental resources.
- documentary , archaeological and ecological evidences of conflicts – read in an interdisciplinary perspective - could allow to understand the way in which common lands were managed and their ecological and economic 'value'.
Case studies and papers that explore the theoretical or methodological issues connected to these problems are particularly welcome."


Papers (part I)

Chair: José-Miguel Lana, Universidad Pública de Navarra (Spain)

Paper 1: Who makes the (conflictual) history of the commons? Technical, juridical and historical issues in the management of collective resources (19th-20th centuries)

Giulia Beltrametti, Università della Svizzera Italiana, Switzerland

Paper 2: Local conflicts and common resource management in north-western Italy (17th-20th c.): a microhistorical approach

Vittorio Tigrino and Angelo Torre, Università del Piemonte Orientale, Italy

Paper 3: Juridical definitions and rural conflicts. The common forests in the mountains of Lombardo Veneto Kingdom (19th c.)

Giacomo Bonan, University of Bologna, Italy

Paper 4: Non facite nobis forciam! Don't use force against us! The art of negotiation in the Swiss Rural Communities in the Medieval Ages [+]

Roberto Leggero, Università della Svizzera italiana, Switzerland

Paper 5: Conflict dynamics and common land management under the control of the State: the case of Sienese communities during the 14th-16th centuries [+]

Cristoferi Davide, University of Siena, Italy


Papers (part II)

Chair: Giulia Beltrametti, Università della Svizzera Italiana, Switzerland

Paper 6: Land, water and commons uses in Sierra Nevada during the Islamic period (711-1568 a.C.)

José Mª Martín Civantos, Universidad de Granada, Spain

Paper 7: Multiple uses and conflicts in European mountains: the study of temporary occupation in the archaeology of common lands

Anna Maria Stagno, Universidad del País Vasco, Spain

Paper 8: Behind a map of a conflict on commons (1771): the agriculture and environment of the classic Karst

Aleksander Panjek, University of Primorska, Slovenia

Paper 9: From common common-less! Invisible conflicts (Languedoc-Pyrenees) (16th-18th centuries)

Marc Conesa, Université Paul-Valéry - Montpellier III, France

Paper 10: Contestation and written documentation: rights of ownership and rights of use in the out-lands of the Cantabrian Mountains

Margarita Fernández Mier, University of León, Spain; and Pablo Alonso González, Institute of Heritage Sciences (Spain), University of Cambridge (UK)

Paper 11: Common-lands, natural resources and settlement in the middle Crati Valley (Calabria, southern Italy), mid-4th – mid-1st centuries B.C.

Germana Scalese, University of Basilicata, Italy


Suggested deadline for sending completed papers 31 july 2015

© 2014 Rural History 2015