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Special Issue "Selected Papers from the 2nd International Conference on Transitions in Agriculture and Rural Society. The Global Challenges of Rural History"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2018).

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Lourenzo Fernández Prieto

University of Santiago de Compostela, Spain
Website | E-Mail
Interests: Spanish Civil War; agrarian history; contemporary history
Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Manuel González de Molina

President of the SEHA, Sociedad de Estudios de Historia Agraria / University Pablo de Olavide, Seville, Spain
Website | E-Mail
Phone: +34-954349099
Interests: agrarian history; environmental history and agroecology
Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. José Vicente Serrâo

ISCTE - Instituto Universitário de Lisboa, Portugal
Website | E-Mail
Interests: Agrarian History, Early Modern History, empires and colonialism

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue comprises selected papers from the 2nd International Conference on “Transitions in Agriculture and Rural Society. The Global Challenges of Rural History”.

Rural History is going beyond the mostly national or state analytical framework that characterised it, as well as the perspectives and interpretations too focused on Europe and the Western World. After the success of the First International Conference (Lisbon, 2016), the SEHA and RuralRePort retake the global challenges in rural history research by jointly organizing a new conference in Santiago de Compostela (Galiza), which will take place 20-23 June, 2018.

For this Second Conference, Transitions in Agriculture and Rural Society has been chosen as the key subject. On this axis, we try to provide continuity to the approach of a transnational and transcontinental rural history, as well as to make a contribution to the challenge of creating a global space of debate on rural history. We aim at articulating an open space, which by overcoming disciplinary, chronological and spatial borders, succeeds in housing the new challenges and answers, being defined in recent times from the point of view of rural history.

Prof. Dr. Lourenzo Fernández Prieto
Prof. Dr. Manuel González de Molina
Prof. Dr. José Vicente Serrâo
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1700 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Sustainability
  • Sustainable development
  • Food history
  • Commons
  • Environmental history

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Community Cultural Resources as Sustainable Development Enablers: A Case Study on Bukjeong Village in Korea compared with Naoshima Island in Japan
Sustainability 2019, 11(5), 1401; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11051401
Received: 15 January 2019 / Revised: 21 February 2019 / Accepted: 28 February 2019 / Published: 6 March 2019
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Abstract
With the process of urbanization and post-industrialization, the diversity of regions and their unique cultures have become cultural properties for the competitiveness of cities. The concept of cultural heritage and resources has expanded in recent years. In the past, they were confined to [...] Read more.
With the process of urbanization and post-industrialization, the diversity of regions and their unique cultures have become cultural properties for the competitiveness of cities. The concept of cultural heritage and resources has expanded in recent years. In the past, they were confined to architectural and artistic artifacts, but now, cultural heritage and resources have evolved to include environmental elements, industrial and vernacular construction, urban and rural settlements, and intangible elements related to community activities and ways of life. The community is the carrier of cultural resources and heritage. Cultural heritage sites contribute to the creation of a community’s identity. This multi-layered discussion of community engagements in cultural heritages and resources provides a unique approach to understanding cultural properties as sustainability enablers. This paper intends to go beyond the theoretical assumptions of the role of community cultural resources by studying the target research group, Bukjeong village in Seoul, Korea. The paper focuses on the possibilities of community engagement for sustainable development for urban regeneration. It proposes that cultural sustainability in its broader definition should be derived from the community realities of a particular place or cultural context. This approach must be grounded in the principles of regional networks, urban governance, and community-based activities. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Evolution of Farming Systems in the Mediterranean High Mountain: The Case of the Alpujarra Alta (Spain)
Sustainability 2019, 11(3), 704; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11030704
Received: 7 November 2018 / Revised: 24 December 2018 / Accepted: 11 January 2019 / Published: 29 January 2019
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Abstract
In mountainous Mediterranean areas, even at high elevations, the landscapes are generally strongly transformed by humans. Agriculture is a key factor in this because, until very recent times, farming has been the main occupation of its inhabitants and has dominated their history and [...] Read more.
In mountainous Mediterranean areas, even at high elevations, the landscapes are generally strongly transformed by humans. Agriculture is a key factor in this because, until very recent times, farming has been the main occupation of its inhabitants and has dominated their history and culture. This study examines the evolution of agroecosystems in the Alpujarra Alta (a set of mountain valleys and ravines, located in south-eastern Spain, within the Penibetic Range), from the Neolithic revolution and the Roman period until the present emphasizing the eight centuries under Muslim rule and the serious agrarian crisis induced by the expulsion of the Moorish from the area in the last third of the 16th century. This provoked profound transformations leading to the so-called “evolved farming system” in the early nineteenth century. This system continued until the middle of the twentieth century, when a massive rural exodus, prompted by the industrialization of the country, made farming unfeasible, triggering a phase of gradual system degradation. Finally, the current situation is discussed, resulting from the degradation of the established system as well as from new opportunities arising from the processes of endogenous local development induced in the area during the last quarter of a century. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Cooperation, Fair Trade, and the Development of Organic Coffee Growing in Chiapas (1980–2015)
Sustainability 2019, 11(2), 357; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11020357
Received: 31 October 2018 / Revised: 4 January 2019 / Accepted: 9 January 2019 / Published: 11 January 2019
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Abstract
In present day Mexico, Chiapas is the state that produces the greatest amount of coffee, with both the highest number of producers and the largest cultivated area. A significant part of this production is organic coffee. Organic coffee growing emerged as an important [...] Read more.
In present day Mexico, Chiapas is the state that produces the greatest amount of coffee, with both the highest number of producers and the largest cultivated area. A significant part of this production is organic coffee. Organic coffee growing emerged as an important alternative for small producers who previously devoted themselves to the production and commercialization of conventional coffee but found it increasingly difficult to make a living. The expansion of the cultivation of organic coffee was closely related to the processes of peasant mobilization that started in the 1970s when the agricultural model of the Green Revolution went into crisis. This article analyzes the expansion of organic coffee growing in Chiapas and its connection with the process of the collective organization of small coffee producers in cooperatives. In these cooperatives, an alternative model of production was established based on the peasants’ traditional knowledge. We argue that the development of organic coffee growing was strongly linked to the long tradition of community life, communal management of land and natural resources, and collective action. We also underline the resilience of the peasants’ traditional farming systems and their contribution to a more sustainable and environmentally respectful agriculture. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Socioecological Transition in Land and Labour Exploitation in Mallorca: From Slavery to a Low-Wage Workforce, 1229–1576
Sustainability 2019, 11(1), 168; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11010168
Received: 30 October 2018 / Revised: 25 November 2018 / Accepted: 24 December 2018 / Published: 30 December 2018
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Abstract
The permanence of slave labour until the 16th century was a lasting legacy of the late feudal colonization of the Mallorca Island. Through a large set of probate inventories and accounting books, we have documented the use of a great deal of slaves [...] Read more.
The permanence of slave labour until the 16th century was a lasting legacy of the late feudal colonization of the Mallorca Island. Through a large set of probate inventories and accounting books, we have documented the use of a great deal of slaves in farming large noble estates during the 14th and 15th centuries. The defeat of the peasant revolt of 1450–1454 offered to nobles and patricians the opportunity to seize much of the land previously colonized by Mallorcan peasants. This creation of a dispossessed peasantry, combined with new trade demands, led to a transition from slave-powered manorial farms to capitalist olive oil-exporting estates that took advantage of the low-wage workforce reserve. A peculiar feature was the massive use of women’s gangs as olive pickers when olive oil became the main cash-crop exported from the 16th century onwards. By linking changes in work and land uses, this study brings to Southern Europe the debate over the driving forces of the emergence of agrarian capitalism. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Pastures and Cash Crops: Biomass Flows in the Socio-Metabolic Transition of Twentieth-Century Colombian Agriculture
Sustainability 2019, 11(1), 117; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11010117
Received: 13 November 2018 / Revised: 17 December 2018 / Accepted: 20 December 2018 / Published: 26 December 2018
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Abstract
This article aims to situate a national case study of the global periphery at the core of the debate on the socio-ecological transition by drawing on new data of biomass flows in twentieth-century Colombia. We draw up a century-long annual series converting a [...] Read more.
This article aims to situate a national case study of the global periphery at the core of the debate on the socio-ecological transition by drawing on new data of biomass flows in twentieth-century Colombia. We draw up a century-long annual series converting a wide set of indicators from Net Primary Production (NPP) into the final socioeconomic uses of biomass, distinguishing around 200 different categories of crops, forests, and pastures. Our calculations draw on FAOSTAT and several corpuses of national statistics. The results show a fall of 10% in total NPP related to land-use changes involving forest conversion. Throughout the twentieth century, pasture was the most relevant among domestic extraction. Allocations of cash crops to industrial processing rose while the figure for staple crops for primary food consumption stagnated. The critical role of cattle throughout all periods and the higher yields of the industrial cash crops are behind this profile. This might also mean the start of a new trend of using pasture land for more profitable export crops, which establishes a new inner frontier of land-use intensification. Lastly, the article points out the phases of the socio-metabolic transition of biomass, explores the changes in biomass flows by looking at the history of the main drivers, and identifies the socio-ecological impacts of deforestation and industrial agribusiness. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Strikes and Rural Unrest during the Second Spanish Republic (1931–1936): A Geographic Approach
Sustainability 2019, 11(1), 34; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11010034
Received: 27 October 2018 / Revised: 14 December 2018 / Accepted: 17 December 2018 / Published: 21 December 2018
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Abstract
This article analyses the evolution and geographic distribution of the rural unrest that prevailed during the years of the Second Spanish Republic (1931–1936), a period characterised by political instability and social conflict. The number of provincial strikes recorded in the forestry and agricultural [...] Read more.
This article analyses the evolution and geographic distribution of the rural unrest that prevailed during the years of the Second Spanish Republic (1931–1936), a period characterised by political instability and social conflict. The number of provincial strikes recorded in the forestry and agricultural industries and complied by the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare constitute the primary source of the study. Based on this information, maps of the regional and provincial distribution of the agricultural unrest have been created for the republican period. The results reveal that, contrary to the traditional belief which confines the rural unrest of this period to the geographic areas of the latifundios (large estates), Spanish agriculture, in all its diversity, was hit by collective disputes. Although the areas of the latifundios were most affected by the agricultural reform of 1932, the data show that the extension of the unrest in the Spanish countryside was also the result of the refusal of the landowners to accept and apply the new republican collective bargaining agreement. The number of strikes increased during the period 1931–1933, fell between 1934 and 1935, and increased again during the months of the Popular Front (February to July 1936). Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Bioenergy in an Agroforestry Economy under Crisis: Complement and Conflict. La Araucanía, Chile, 1990–2016
Sustainability 2018, 10(12), 4478; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10124478
Received: 29 October 2018 / Revised: 23 November 2018 / Accepted: 26 November 2018 / Published: 28 November 2018
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Abstract
Following the collapse of Chile’s energy mix in 2000, standalone bioenergy generation plants were installed in Lautaro, Region of La Araucanía, in 2011, purchasing biomass from the forest and agricultural industries. This article resorts to a historical method, using government sources—particularly projects submitted [...] Read more.
Following the collapse of Chile’s energy mix in 2000, standalone bioenergy generation plants were installed in Lautaro, Region of La Araucanía, in 2011, purchasing biomass from the forest and agricultural industries. This article resorts to a historical method, using government sources—particularly projects submitted to the State’s environmental approval process; news reports; corporate information and documents; interviews with employees, entrepreneurs and experts; field visits; and general literature. This article focuses on the success case of a bioenergy generation company and its relationship with wood and agricultural biomass suppliers in a region where traditional farming and forest plantations are under crisis. Currently, two additional bioenergy projects are underway in the Region. Beyond the economic crisis that is currently affecting this Region, local communities have increasingly been opposing the new plants and the price of electric energy has dropped, leading to an uncertain future for bioenergy in the south of Chile. Full article
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