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Change and Persistence in a Reformed Landscape: A geographical analysis of land reforms and landscape change in Muhu and Rapla municipalities, Estonia, c. 1840 to 2003
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social and Economic Geography.
2005 (English)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)Alternative title
Förändring och kontinuitet i ett reformerat landskap : En geografisk analys av landreformer och landskap i kommunerna Muhu och Rapla, Estland, ca 1840 till 2003 (Swedish)
Abstract [en]

A land reform is usually introduced to create conditions for change, either in agriculture or in the character of landownership. Since the middle of the 19th century, numerous radical land reforms have been implemented in rural Estonia, often at times of political and social upheaval. The aim of this thesis is to examine the influence of land reforms upon the landscape, in two case study areas: the territories of the present-day rural municipalities of Muhu and Rapla.

Through cartographical analyses, field observations, and interviews with residents in the case study areas, the thesis focuses upon the geography of change and persistence in property structures and the material landscape, from the mid-19th century to the present. At the local level, the implementation of a land reform is likely to meet the resistance of the material structures of the landscape and the existing organization of land use and land rights. Some spatial structures, created in the past, tend to persist into the post-reform situation. There are several possible reasons behind their persistence: the structures are difficult to change, they maintain a function also in the post-reform situation, or they survive because of neglect.

The thesis shows that the recurrent reforms help to explain not only what changes in the landscape and the property structure. The reforms also help to explain why some landscape features persist, at specific locations. The thesis also demonstrates that people made use of the persistence in the landscape during the Soviet period, in order to preserve the memory of the pre-Soviet property structure. Following Estonian re-independence in 1991, the land, which was nationalized in 1940, became re-privatised, partly through restitution. This has shed a new light upon the substance of change and persistence, not least in the landscape.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Kulturgeografiska institutionen , 2005. , 270 p.
Geografiska regionstudier, ISSN 0431-2023 ; 64
Keyword [en]
Social and economic geography, land reforms, landscape, landownership, Muhu, Rapla, Estonia
Keyword [sv]
National Category
Human Geography
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-5841ISBN: 91-506-1803-2OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-5841DiVA: diva2:166595
Public defence
2005-06-03, Hörsal 1, Ekonomikum, Kyrkogårdsg. 10, Uppsala, 10:15
Available from: 2005-05-12 Created: 2005-05-12 Last updated: 2012-08-20Bibliographically approved

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Maandi, Peeter
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