The essays in this book tap the potential of the historical analysis of social contexts in which property rights are embedded – social relations, power and agency, political institutions, culture – to understand how landed resources are actually appropriated. This exploratory approach seeks both to take advantage of the existing theory of property rights, as it is applied by the institutionalist outlook on economic history, and to go beyond it by explicitly incorporating social processes and factors in the analysis of property institutions. With this common aim in mind, the book covers a wide variety of historical cases throughout space and time, from the late Middle Ages in the Czech lands and in Tuscany to the very recent de-collectivisation of the countryside in former socialist countries, which will contribute rich and grounded insights to the discussion of the topic and of its implications.
Rui Santos is senior researcher at CESNOVA and teaches at Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas in Universidade Nova de Lisboa. His research interests cover historical and economic sociology and rural studies.
Rosa Congost is senior researcher at the Centre de Recerca d'Història Rural and teaches at Facultat de Lletres in Universitat de Girona. Her research interests cover the history of landed property and agrarian social relations.
"En calquier caso, hay que dar la bienvenida a un libro fundamental para entender la historia de los derechos de propiedad en Europa que, además, ofrece interesantes líneas de investigación y reflexión para el futuro." (Juan Diego Pérez Cebada, in: Historia Agraria, 58, Diciembre 2012, p. 211-215)