Centre for Advanced Study

at the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters

Landscape, Law and Justice


Former 2002/2003 Social Sciences - Law

End Report

The term landscape incorporates a number of differing but overlapping ways in which the complex relationships between human societies and their physical surroundings are conceptualized. The particular focus in this project was the role of law and custom for the allocation, management and use of common resources. The project was organized around three sub-themes:

  • Historical concepts of landscape as an expression of law, justice and cultural practice relating to the community regulation of land and other common resources (cf. the medieval Nordic landskapslover, i.e. the provincial laws or “landscape laws”).
  • Continuity and change in the landscape as a physical and cultural manifestation of human activity and institutions, focusing on the role of legislation and customary law, in a historical and geographical perspective.
  • Legal implications and landscape impacts of environmental policies for the management of amenity resources and perceived common values in the landscape.

The core group within the research theme on Landscape, Law & Justice brought together researchers in the disciplines of geography, legal history, sociology and landscape planning. Besides working on their individual research projects, the group came together at regular intervals to discuss philosophical and theoretical issues concerning law, justice and equity with regard to landscape. Other invited researchers from both Norway and outside Norway joined the group for periods lasting from a week to a month. The group organized a programme of monthly seminars, workshops and symposia on topics related to this field of research. Seminars involved presentations by members of the group as well as by invited speakers. The majority of the seminars were open for participation by other interested persons. Two of these meetings were held outside Oslo: a symposium organized in conjunction with the Nordic Sami Institute in Kautokeino in March, and a seminar organized on Karmøy in May. The year ended with an international conference at the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters in June.

In additions to the disciplines already mentioned, the meetings organized by the group included participants from the disciplines of anthropology, archaeology, architecture, botany, cultural heritage management, economics, ethnology, history, landscape architecture, law, philosophy, and philology. The 120 papers presented at the seminars, workshops and conferences, with good time allowed for discussion, led to stimulating exchanges of ideas. Many of these ideas are reflected in more than 80 publications, either already published or forthcoming, presenting the work undertaken by the group while at the Centre for Advanced Study. We would like to thank the Centre for giving us the opportunity of coming together during the academic year 2002–2003.


  • Berge, Erling
    Professor Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) 2002/2003
  • Brown, Katrina Myrvang
    Research Fellow Macaulay Land Use Research Institute 2002/2003
  • Lehtinen, Ari Aukusti
    Professor University of Joensuu 2002/2003
  • Lowenthal, David
    Professor Em. 2002/2003
  • Olwig, Kenneth
    Professor Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences 2002/2003
  • Peil, Tiina
    Postdoctoral Fellow Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) 2002/2003
  • Sellar, William Davie Hamilton
    Honorary Fellow University of Edinburgh 2002/2003
  • Setten, Gunhild
    Associate Professor Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) 2002/2003
  • Sevatdal, Hans
    Professor Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU) 2002/2003
  • Sooväli, Helen
    Lecturer University of Tartu 2002/2003
  • Stuberg, Kari
    Student Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) 2002/2003
  • Widgren, Mats
    Professor Stockholm University 2002/2003
  • Östberg, Wilhelm
    Associate Professor National Museum of Ethnography 2002/2003

Group leader

  • Michael Richard Handley Jones

    Title Professor Institution Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) Year at CAS 2002/2003