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The Common Good Aspects and Institutional Problems of Cultural Landscape: An Analysis of Regional Development Issues Using Institutional Theory Approaches

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: Roehring, Andreas
Conference: Building the European Commons: From Open Fields to Open Source, European Regional Meeting of the International Association for the Study of Common Property (IASCP)
Location: Brescia, Italy
Conf. Date: March 23-25
Date: 2006
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/2126
Sector: Social Organization
Region: Europe
Subject(s): IASC
globalization--case studies
regionalism--case studies
common good
institutional analysis--theory
path dependence--case studies
social behavior
economic development
Abstract: "In view of the continuous process of globalisation and in the face of European-wide processes of accelerated land-use change, cultural landscape is currently being rediscovered as a regional potential. A cultural landscape - understood as the product of human activity and societal developments - can only be the subject of active attempts at regional management if the historically conditioned institutional framework shaping its use and development is taken into consideration. "Cultural landscape can be interpreted as a regional common good consisting of a multiplicity of heterogeneous, partly inconsistent components of old and new commons as well as private goods with various social, economic and ecological functions. Due to its multifunctionality, institutional heterogeneity and complexity, comprehensive institutional regimes designed to regulate the development of cultural landscape as a whole cannot exist. For this reason the change of cultural landscape is more or less a by-product of market forces and sectoral policies. The effects on cultural landscape -positive and negative - are therefore often unintentional. Given that human activities regarding cultural landscape are driven by formal and informal, centralised and decentralised institutions cultural landscape problems can be seen as, in essence, institutional problems. Because of the different orientations of institutional regimes, the behaviour of actors to use the given scope of institutions is essentially influenced by informal institutions e.g. social and individual values, traditions, images or regional identity. On the other hand especially the informal institutions can be influenced e.g. by the identity-establishing effects of cultural landscape. "The aim of this paper is not only to explore the theoretical background of the common good aspects and institutional problems of cultural landscapes but also to apply these theoretical approaches to issues of regional development using the example of the historical cultural landscape 'Oderbruch' in Germany on the Polish border."

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