Agroecosystem, Peasants, and Conflicts: Environmental History in Spain at the Beginning of the Twenty-first Century
Antonio Ortega Santos
Global Environment 4 (2009): 156–179
In Spain, environmental history has evolved from 1980s agrarian history. One of its principal aims is to create a framework for the interpretation of the metabolism between agro-ecosystems and rural communities. The present essay deals with the energy balance of agrarian systems, inequality of access to goods and environmental revenues, and competition over the natural resources of human communities since the middle of the nineteenth century. Another important field of interest that has been gaining increasing importance is the study of the impact of privatization on the access to common environmental goods, and social resistance to this privatization, a result of the mercantilization of rural economies and the assigning of monetary value to resources previously subject to customary ways of management. Spanish environmental history shares this social-environmental bent with other emergent historiographies worldwide.