Journal of Alpine Research / Revue de géographie alpine

Mountains and Conflict: Conflict as a Factor in Territorial Adaptation and Innovation

In the introduction to his study on conflict, Patrice Melé questioned the heuristic relevance of conflict in the analysis of territorialisation (Melé, Larrue, Rosemberg, 2004, pp. 13-32). This same approach is used here as we postulate that conflict may be a powerful factor capable of generating territory, just as much as territory itself is capable of producing conflict. Through its inherent distortions, conflict defeats, expands and reveals by spreading beyond a context that is strictly private to one that is more public. In so doing, it also breaks up identities as much as it constructs them. To fully understand its impact, conflict should be considered in its broadest etymological sense: conflictus, which means shock, and confligere, which means to strike or collide with. That which collides with or shocks, by definition, produces movement and change. In this respect, conflict covers notions of opposition and struggle, whether armed or unarmed – not only in a military and politi...

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