Seeing beyond the smoke: The political ecology of wildfires through the case of Horta de Sant Joan (Tarragona, Catalonia)

Marien González Hidalgo, Iago Otero Armengol, Giorgos Kallis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This paper analyses the tragic 2009 wildfire of Horta de Sant Joan in Catalonia. The local environmental history, the changes in land use of the pre-fire forest landscape, and the clash between different social discourses after the wildfire reveal different sociopolitical forms of constructing the relationship between nature and society. Each social actor explains wildfire and forest management according to different time scales and interests. These discourses can be classified by the degree of inclusion or exclusion of fire in the social-ecological system. The contextualisation and analysis of the «desired landscapes» proposed by the social actors allows for a deeper reflection on contested understandings and values in relation to forests and wildfires. We conclude by arguing in favour of a proper re-politicisation of the debate around the causes of and the responses to wildfires.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-50
JournalDocuments d'Analisi Geografica
Volume59
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2013

Keywords

  • Desired landscapes
  • Forest fire
  • Social construction
  • The political

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