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The Common Land of Cortina: Perceptions and Policies through History

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: Pieraccini, Margherita
Conference: Governing Shared Resources: Connecting Local Experience to Global Challenges, the Twelfth Biennial Conference of the International Association for the Study of Commons
Location: Cheltenham, England
Conf. Date: July 14-18, 2008
Date: 2008
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10535/2183
Sector: Social Organization
Land Tenure & Use
Region: Europe
Subject(s): environmental policy
collective action
property rights
governance and politics
IASC
Abstract: "The Regole of Cortina deAmpezzo present an interesting case of a collective property rights system in contemporary Italy. The focus on a particular case study is not only determined by a methodological choice but it is a necessary consequence of the historical heterogeneity of Italian commons. A reference to the diachronic profile of Italian commons will in fact show the plurality of realities existing prior to the national law of 1927(1766/1927) on the 'reordering of uti cives'. The homologating effects of the levelling philosophy underpinning the 1927 statute, which remains in force today, will be explored. Driven by Mussolini's agrarian capitalist development, the national law attempted to silence many customs and local statutes with the political invention of a monolithic national common land. However, the framework of regional decentralisation subsisting in Italy has proven helpful for Cortina. An analysis of the interplay between supra-national, national, regional and local legislations will illustrate the various understandings of common land. Moving through time and layers of legislation, the paper will account for the contemporary multifunctionality of Cortina's common and explore the relationship between environmental protection measures, property rights and sustainable management as displayed on Cortina's land. The sustainability of the Regole has been produced by precise governmental policies but also by local perceptions of the environment, which I have explored through primary qualitative research in the form of semi-structured interviews with different stakeholders."

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