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GLOBAL ENVIRONMENT

 

Peasant Protest as Environmental Protest. Some cases from the 18th to the 20th century

Manuel Gonz├ílez de Molina, Antonio Herrera,  Antonio Ortega Santos, David Soto


Global Environment 4 (2009): 48–77

This article analyzes peasant conflicts from an environmental perspective. First, we show a general theory about the environmental conflicts making a clear differentiation between environmental, environmentalist conflicts and green movements. We realize this differentiation using as criterion the goals of the actors in relation to the sustainability of the agroecosystems and depending on the types of discourses used on the protests. Second, we analyze the peasant use of agroecosystems and the differences between the agricultural systems based on organic energy in contrast with those based on fossil energy. Finally, we try to sort in several types the environmental conflicts of the peasant that took place between 18th and 20th centuries. In this sense, we analyze, using different bibliography, some examples of environmental peasant protests in the Mediterranean Europe, Latin America, Asia and Africa. We discuss about conflicts produced around different resources like water, common goods or conflicts against pollution, Land Reform, reactions opposite to environment policies or defence of indigenous territories. These examples show that we have to pay attention to the environmental dimension of the peasant protest in order to understand the conflicts, although sometimes it is mixed with gender and class dimensions.
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