Change search
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Transitions in European land-management regimes between 1800 and 2010
Show others and affiliations
2015 (English)In: Land use policy, ISSN 0264-8377, E-ISSN 1873-5754, Vol. 49, no SI, 53-64 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Land use is a cornerstone of human civilization, but also intrinsically linked to many global sustainability challenges—from climate change to food security to the ongoing biodiversity crisis. Understanding the underlying technological, institutional and economic drivers of land-use change, and how they play out in different environmental, socio-economic and cultural contexts, is therefore important for identifying effective policies to successfully address these challenges. In this regard, much can be learned from studying long-term land-use change. We examined the evolution of European land management over the past 200 years with the aim of identifying (1) key episodes of changes in land management, and (2) their underlying technological, institutional and economic drivers. To do so, we generated narratives elaborating on the drivers of land use-change at the country level for 28 countries in Europe. We qualitatively grouped drivers into land-management regimes, and compared changes in management regimes across Europe. Our results allowed discerning seven land-management regimes, and highlighted marked heterogeneity regarding the types of management regimes occurring in a particular country, the timing and prevalence of regimes, and the conditions that result in observed bifurcations. However, we also found strong similarities across countries in the timing of certain land-management regime shifts, often in relation to institutional reforms (e.g., changes in EU agrarian policies or the emergence and collapse of the Soviet land management paradigm) or to technological innovations (e.g., drainage pipes, tillage and harvesting machinery, motorization, and synthetic fertilizers). Land reforms frequently triggered changes in land management, and the location and timing of reforms had substantial impacts on land-use outcomes. Finally, forest protection policies and voluntary cooperatives were important drivers of land-management changes. Overall, our results demonstrate that land-system changes should not be conceived as unidirectional developments following predefined trajectories, but rather as path-dependent processes that may be affected by various drivers, including sudden events.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 49, no SI, 53-64 p.
Keyword [en]
Land-use change, Long-term socio-ecological research, Land-management regimes, Institutional change, Technological innovation, Policy Path dependency
National Category
Human Geography
Research subject
Human Geography
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-119640DOI: 10.1016/j.landusepol.2015.07.003ISI: 000367105800006OAI: diva2:847221
Available from: 2015-08-19 Created: 2015-08-19 Last updated: 2016-01-19Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

No full text

Other links

Publisher's full text

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Jansson, Ulf
By organisation
Department of Human Geography
In the same journal
Land use policy
Human Geography

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar
The number of downloads is the sum of all downloads of full texts. It may include eg previous versions that are now no longer available

Altmetric score

Total: 46 hits
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link