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  When Multi-­level Governance Hits the Ground: European Nature Protection and Land-­use Change in Vrancea and Galicia

Mantescu, L. (2012). When Multi-­level Governance Hits the Ground: European Nature Protection and Land-­use Change in Vrancea and Galicia. PhD Thesis, Universität Köln, Köln.

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Mantescu, Liviu1, Author              
1International Max Planck Research School on the Social and Political Constitution of the Economy, MPI for the Study of Societies, Max Planck Society, ou_1214550              


Free keywords: political ecology, nature protection, EU, multi-level governance, transnational governance, Romania, Spain, Vrancea, Galicia, Xistral, commons, knowledge societies, environmental history, Natura 2000, ethnographic film, property relations, memories of dispossession, post-socialism, Eastern quesiton
 Abstract: The project is situated at the convergence of two vast themes of academic inquiry: nature and property. It deals with environmental degradation and social conflicts from a historical perspective and shows how the latest transnational attempts for nature protection, the EU’s program Natura 2000, are perceived by local people in Galicia, Spain, and Vrancea, Romania, as new means of land dispossession. Natura 2000 is a multi-level mode of governance within the EU’s governance framework. Galicia and Vrancea are characterized by the survival of peculiar, yet similar, forms of common property regimes for forests and pastures. For historical reasons, the land of these villages is outside the market realm: it can neither be sold nor inherited according to modern private property principles. This image of waste attracted external attempts to break into the village commons, and memories of dispossession span over more than a century in the local discourse. Nowadays, these memories convert into a linchpin strategy to defend traditional land use in the face of EU policies for nature protection. This is yet another process within the political dynamics of property where rights over land and natural resources are claimed and contested by the actors involved: village communities, regional governments, transnational companies, national states, supra-national political entities. Therefore, the question this study builds upon is: How do the local actors involved in the EU’s multi-level governance regime for nature protection use the open policy-making chess board as a resource for attaining their aims?


Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2012-07-132012
 Publication Status: Published in print
 Pages: 320
 Publishing info: Köln : Universität Köln
 Table of Contents: Chapter 1 – Introduction
1.1. What this study is about
1.2. The outline of the study
1.3. How this study came about - a personal note
Part I: The Warehouse
Chapter 2 – Methodology and Methods
2.1. The cases, multi-sited ethnography and historical investigation
The selection of cases
Multi-sited ethnography
The historical investigation
2.2. Methods for gathering the data
The Film
2.3. Methods for analyzing the data
The ideal types
Chapter 3 – The theoretical tool-box
3.1. Governance related concepts
Non-state actors and transnational governance
A triangular deficit
Empirical, normative and critical governance
Transnational governance and neoliberalism
Multi-level governance as EU’s transnational political arena
Cultural brokers
Creative compliance
3.2. Nature related concepts
The intrinsic value of nature
Environmental conflicts
Environmental justice
Socionatures and the agency of nature
3.3. Property related concepts
Property and property relations
Primitive accumulation
Accumulation by dispossession, accumulation by extra-economic means
3.4. Time related concepts
The Past in the Present
Collective memory
Memories of dispossession
Part II: Protecting Nature
Chapter 4 - Conceptual mapping
4.1. Nature, wilderness, waste – ţiher, monte, vast
4.2. From animism to anthropocentrism
4.3. The natural right to property
Chapter 5 - From Waste to Parks
5.1. Vanishing the frontier
5.2. The Public Garden of Yellowstone
Chapter 6 - The translation of the American National Parks in Spain and Romania
6.1. Spain – Cavadonga
6.2. Romania – The Mountain Without Crest
Chapter 7 - From Parks to Biodiversity: The institutionalization of
7.1. Ecocentrism vs. Ecological Modernization
7.2. The institutionalization of environmentalism
Chapter 8 – Natura 2000 on the paper
8.1. The Birds and the missiles’ chant
8.2. The Habitats
Chapter 9 – Natura 2000 at Brussels, and not only
9.1. Some preliminary remarks
9.2. 18% of EU’s territory
9.3. The need for numbers
9.4. An important remark
9.5. Natura 2000 on its way to Xistral
9.6. Natura 2000 on its way to Vrancea
Chapter 10 - Conclusions
Part III: Access to Natural Valuables and Environmental Conflicts in
Chapter 11 - O Monte
11.1. The uses
O Toxo and A Xesta
As Fragas
11.2. The juridical status
Chapter 12 - The Roots of State Forest Regulations
12.1. The Floating Forests
12.2. The Political Forests
Chapter 13 - Franco’s forests
13.1. “La orden es de Franco – Basta!”
13.2. The law of Montes Veciñais en Man Común
Chapter 14 - The EUropean environmental coordination
14.1. Seventeen ways to deal with Natura 2000
14.2. The burden of new land-use
14.3. A case of cultural brokerage and institutional hypocrisy
Chapter 15 - The dynamic of bundle of rights
15.1. A community
15.2. Peasants and farmers
15.3. Party people
15.4. Hunters
15.5. Wind-mills
15.6. One night
Chapter 16 - Consequences in landuse-change
16.1. The common property and the culture of approximation
16.2. The mental re-mapping of the properties within the landscape
16.3. The liminal environment - Fragabella
Chapter 17 – Conclusions
Part IV: Access to Natural Valuables and Environmental Conflicts in
Chapter 18 – Obştea
18.1. Ţara Vrancei
18.2. Past and present uses
18.3. The juridical status nowadays
Chapter 19 – The expansion of transnational markets
19.1. Two land-based Empires
19.2. The Eastern Question and the Treaty of Adrianople
19.3. Being part of Europe and the cultural diffusion of capitalism
Chapter 20 - The first forest protection measures and their consequences for Vrancea
20.1. The Moruzi Decree and the first Forestry Codes
20.2. Transnational companies for wood extraction in Vrancea and the memories of peasant resistance in Pǎuleşti
20.3. A lawyer for the people
Chapter 21 - Fighting “The Red Pest”
21.1. The plot and the elites
21.2. The use of the common property during communism
23.3. Environmentalism and local patriotism
Chapter 24 - Property restitution and the establishment of protected areas
24.1. Hotar
24.2. Double-edged swords
24.3. www.tara-vrancei.ro
Chapter 25 - The Park, Natura 2000, Obştea Tulnici and Obştea Pǎuleşti
25.1. The land and the actors
25.2. The main economic interests in the park
25.3. The decision-making within the Consultative Council
25.4. The death of the father
25.5. Instruments and tactics in the formation of the memories of dispossession
Chapter 26 - Conclusions
Part V: Roundown - Crossing Borders for Nature
Chapter 27 – Environmental conflicts as political dynamics of property
27.1. Early political and ecological pressures
27.2. Early ecological conflicts
27.3. The cultural diffusion of capitalism
27.4. The authoritarian regimes and the transitions towards EUrope
27.5. The present conflicts
Chapter 28 – ‘The Aquarium’ and ‘the Globe’
28.1. The natural valuables in ‘the aquarium’
28.2. The political action in ‘the aquarium’
28.3. The natural valuables in ‘the globe’
28.4. The political action in ‘the globe’
Conclusion: When multi-level governance hits the ground
 Rev. Type: -
 Identifiers: URI: http://kups.ub.uni-koeln.de/id/eprint/5199
URN: urn:nbn:de:hbz:38-51993
DOI: 10.17617/2.1504798
 Degree: PhD



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