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All We Are is Dust in the Wind: The Constant Threat of Sand Drifts

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: De Keyzer, Maïka
Conference: Commons Amidst Complexity and Change, the Fifteenth Biennial Conference of the International Association for the Study of the Commons
Location: Edmonton, Alberta
Conf. Date: May 25-29
Date: 2015
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/9822
Sector: Global Commons
Region: Europe
Subject(s): sustainability
Abstract: "Practically every Pre-modern society experiences a sort of risk or natural hazard. Even in the moderate climate zone of Europe natural hazards such as floods, storm surges and sand drifts threatened entire societies and could eradicate occupation and exploitation in a region. Some societies, however, were able to withstand such hazards and reduce them to natural events, while others were unable to mitigate such shocks and suffered from the disaster that followed. The question therefore remains, why some societies were able to cope and create subcultures of disaster, while others could not. By looking at the late medieval Campine area, located in the cover sand belt that was prone to produce sand drifts, I will advance that we have to look in to the institutional arrangements, property structures, power balances and commercial strategies to understand why a region was able to succeed in a region of risk."

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