Multifunctionality, Rural Diversification and the Unsettlement of Rural Land Use Systems

Authored by: Katrina Rønningen , Frode Flemsæter

Routledge International Handbook of Rural Studies

Print publication date:  May  2016
Online publication date:  May  2016

Print ISBN: 9781138804371
eBook ISBN: 9781315753041
Adobe ISBN: 9781317619864


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Modernisation processes in rural areas are taking on different shapes, and with contradictory and paradoxical effects in the global north. In this chapter we explore the commodification of rural resources, focusing on ways the revaluation of the material values of rural areas are unsettling land use and land use rights. The exercise of land use rights – customary rights linked to commons and rural areas – is under pressure within the prevailing economic, political and structural ideologies and developments. Consequently, a key question is whether existing multifunctional agricultural policies and land use planning systems are willing or able to control the commodifying modernisation processes in agricultural and rural economies and, consequently, safeguard long-term environmentally and culturally sustainable land use systems. Is the further ‘enclosure’ of rights inevitable? Is it naive to suggest that the many competing or parallel interests may coexist through improved ‘choreography’ of activities in these landscapes?

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