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Mountains as global suppliers: New forms of disparities between mountains and the metropolitan nodes

Call for papers – Deadline: November 1st, 2014
Responsible: Manfred Perlik, Pacte, EURAC & Université de Berne.


Socio-economic topics in mountain research are very often focussed on the description, interpretation and management practices of depopulation and decline. With the thematic issue about the in-migration of a new type of inhabitants (see our call which is steered by Federica Corrado) we are introducing another picture, mainly seen under a socio-demographic view. We want now to enlarge this debate under aspects of regional economic development pointing in two directions:

  • by extending the topic of new uses of mountainous areas on other economic sectors of productive economies (like new extractive resources and raw materials) as well as residential economies (like leisure landscapes and real estate markets) and

  • by analysing the tendencies towards selective functional uses and spatial specialisation under the aspects of new types of disparities, new gradients of value adding between mountains and (metropolitan-) regions.

The thematic issue of JAR/RGA wants to treat both questions under a theoretical and an empirical view to fuel the debate about the advantages and disadvantages of a highly specialised development of mountain areas, raising the question of “spatial justice” and potential alternative development paths.

Keywords: new spatial and functional disparities, spatial division of labour, metropolitan-mountain relationship, spatial justice


  • Spatial division of value adding: New spatial disparities due to new functional hierarchies in a globalised economy, like the concentration of powerful economic clusters in metropolitan areas and less important activities in mountains, which may be burdening, like mining, mass tourism, real estate speculation.

  • Selective exploitation of spatial resources: Current development strategies propose to develop less populated mountain regions according to their functions as providers of attractive landscapes or as a reservoir for raw materials and water. This may induce a prosperous economic development in the short term but may weaken its long term options when the growth period is over.

  • Inclusion and Exclusion: New economic functions may bring new stakeholders into the mountains: new inhabitants, economic actors, and agents of the civil society. On the other hand, the ancient stakeholders may lose power and certain groups may face exclusion. Former public space may become valorised and drawn back from public use which especially excludes long term inhabitants and non-consuming.

  • Territorial cohesion: New asymmetries of governance power and challenges to territorial cohesion by different interests: dynamic regions on the one hand, less dynamic regions on the other. In many cases the dividing line runs between the mountains and lowlands.


Please send abstracts in English (approximately 1000 words) before November 1st, 2014 to: , and


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