Gunnel Cederlof's Landscapes and the Law: Environmental Politics, Regional Histories, and Contests over Nature
Landscapes and the Law
is situated at the crossroads of environmental, colonial, and legal History
. It examines the role of Law
in consolidating early colonial rule from the perspective of people access to nature in forests and Hill tracts. This major interdisciplinary study is thus concerned with the social History
of legal processes and the making of Law
, being as relevant today as it was when first published a decade ago. The book is focused equally on the multitude of colliding claims for access to land and resources, and the complex ways in which customary rights are redefined and codified for the purpose of securing and legitimizing colonial sovereign rule. Basing her archival and field work on the Nilgiris hills in South India, gunnel cederlöf explores conflicting perceptions of nature and political visions that are projected onto landscapes and people. She traces debates on property and land rights, and how the empirical sciences merge with the legal claims justifying land acquisition. Popular resistance strategies to such exploitation are analysed, and a cross-cultural comparison made between early legal processes and social History
in India, new Zealand, and North America.