Political anthropology of relationships to farmland. A case study of land abandonment and recultivation mouvements in Brittany, France.
Sous la direction de M. Goodale, Université de Lausanne et Birgit Müller.
UInitiatives to "reclaim agricultural land" are multiplying in France. Their aim is to restore farmland that has been uncultivated for decades. Clearing the land often makes it possible to set up agro-ecological projects in response to growing social demands for the relocation of food production. Based on a 15-month ethnography in a rural community in Finistère that has initiated a project to "reclaim abandoned land", this thesis examines the power relations that develop around agricultural land in the light of environmental and social questions about the future of agriculture. It is based on two complementary field sites : with the people involved in the project to reclaim abandoned land, and in the departmental arenas of agricultural land governance. Combining political and environmental anthropology with the interdisciplinary field of multi-species studies, this research offers a polyphonic reading of the issues surrounding abandoned farmland in the context of rational land use by a highly intensive form of agriculture.