Dissertation Abstracts

Houses, Highways or Harvests? Discourses of Agricultural Land on the Urban-Rural Fringe

Author: Vinge, Heidi , heidi.vinge@rural.no
Department: Department of Sociology and Political Science
University: Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway
Supervisor: Bente Rasmussen
Year of completion: In progress
Language of dissertation: English, Norwegian

Keywords: Land Use , Agricultural Policy , Discourse Analysis , Farmland Preservatio
Areas of Research: Agriculture and Food


Fertile soils are an increasing contested natural resource in line with water and forests. The highly contested issue of farmland preservation stems from a concern for Norway’s low amount of farmland, only three percent of the total land area, as well as from a recognition that a great deal of this farmland is located in the vicinity of Norway’s largest cities and thus is prone to an ever increasing urban sprawl. Due to limited farmland resources and that only 50 per cent of the country’s consumed agricultural calories are produced nationally, protection of arable land has been considered an important part of Norwegian agricultural policy.

This project aims to grasp the farmland preservation discourse as it exists in Norway today. This will be done by providing new empirical and theoretical knowledge on the relationship between farmland management and the articulation of values that is embedded in political actions. Due to the character of the research questions outlined, the project will include several methodological approaches in order to explore different positions in the discourse and identify how it fluctuates in a broader social context.

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