This paper explores depopulation and deagrarianization in Northern Spain. The methodological approaches included multisital ethnographic research in wood-land properties under different types of property regimes, followed by an analysis of the fieldwork using a framework derived from Access theory and Powers of Exclusion. The research focuses on social relations of property and contesting claims on woodland properties, and associated labour and conservation themes. Approaches from agrarian transformation are used to frame competing explanations. Property theory is used to deconstruct discourses on private property. Accumulation by dispossession and internal territorialisation are used to problematize the role of the state. The theories and fieldwork combine to argue the following points: that formalised private property rights are no guarantee against dispossession; that all regimes, private or common, experience rural depopulation due to break-downs of the inheritance mechanism; that state participation in properties through subsidies structurally and relationally drives deagrarianization.

woodlands, property, ruraldDepopulation, deagrarianization, Spain, Asturias
Spoor, Max
Agrarian and Environmental Studies (AES)
International Institute of Social Studies

Bourguignon, Robert Nicholas. (2014, December 12). Village for Sale! Access and Contention in Woodland Properties: Implications for Rural Futures in Northern Spain. Agrarian and Environmental Studies (AES). Retrieved from