Fält av värdering. Hur landsbygden formas av motstridiga värden i Tyskland och Storbritannien

Tidsperiod: 2018-07-01 till 2021-06-30

Projektledare: Alexander Dobeson

Finansiär: Vetenskapsrådet

Bidragstyp: Bidrag för anställning eller stipendier

Budget: 3 150 000 SEK

When thinking about the countryside most people associate different values with the land and soil to which it is intimately tied. We can think of land as ´nature´ that has to be conserved and protected, as farmland that needs to be utilised for food production or simply as public space of rural tranquility and beauty that should be open and accessible to everyone. In our modern society, however, these different values are often in conflict. Yet, land has become one of the most valuable and priced assets. But how can something as contested as land be valued, commodified and priced? Which land can be traded and which not? Which land is valuable and which is worthless? And what role does the commodification of rural land play in the broader context of contemporary market economies? To answer these questions, I propose a comparative empirical case study of the conflicting values at play in the valuation and commodification of land in two countries with diverging histories of land use and conservation: Germany and the UK. Based on a mixed-methods approach including ethnographic field work in the countryside, archival research and historical statistics on land valuation and pricing, this project investigates what I call the contested ´fields of valuation´ that shape the countryside as economic and non-economic space. By doing so, the project generates new empirical knowledge and contributes to the economic sociological undestanding of ´contested commodities´.