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The MountainA Political History from the Enlightenment to the Present$
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Bernard Debarbieux and Gilles Rudaz

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780226031118

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226031255.001.0001

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The Mountain as Living Environment

The Mountain as Living Environment

(p.114) Five The Mountain as Living Environment
The Mountain

Bernard Debarbieux

Gilles Rudaz

, Jane Marie Todd

Martin F. Price

University of Chicago Press

Another set of policies adopted an alternative conception of the mountain mobilizing a specific kind of knowledge and practice. In several cases, in fact, without neglecting the national interest (their primary motivation), they declared objectives relating to the people most affected: the local populations. This second group of public policies was the result of an expansion in the range of objectives the modern state took on in the early twentieth century, which included education, health, and an improved standard of living. They targeted the populations themselves and no longer merely a territory to be controlled or resources to be exploited. With the advent of the welfare state, the mountain was conceived as a collective living environment. The mountain became a territory. The considerable interest that Western societies and nation-states have shown in their mountains and “mountaineers” has radically changed the local populations’ image of themselves. That slow emergence of the mountaineer as a political figure is therefore inseparable from the emergence of the mountain as a political object.

Keywords:   agriculture, tourism, Appalachians, European Union, lobby, political identity

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