Conference Programe: Conflicts of use in the Alpion region    

Wednesday, 16 June 

12.45 -13.15, Welcome and Introduction


13.15-14.45, 1.Panel: Concepts

Chair: Maria Buck

Giulia Beltrametti/Vittorio Tigrino

Redefining natural resources through institutional conflicts. A case study in southwestern Alps

Kommentar: Blaž Komac/ Matja Zorn

Jon Mathieu

Mountain Wilderness – mit einem Begriff die Alpen verteidigen (seit 1987)

Kommentar: Elisa Frank/ Nikolaus Heinzer/ Bernhard Tschofen


15.15-16.45, 2. Panel: Wolves

Chair: Helmuth Trischler

Elisa Frank/ Nikolaus Heinzer/ Bernhard Tschofen

Wölfe in der Schweiz: Kulturanthropologische Überlegungen zur Untersuchung von Nutzungskonflikten im Alpenraum

Kommentar: Sebastian De Pretto

Hester Margreiter

Wer hat Angst vorm bösen Wolf? Humaner Habitus und alpines Habitat. Eine Untersuchung zum zeitgenössischen Umweltverständnis von Menschen in Alpenregionen anhand der medialen Diskussion in Südtirol

Kommentar: Martin Zückert


17:15-18:45, Project presentation „Issues with Europe”

Romed Aschwanden/ Maria Buck/ Kira Schmidt/ Patrick Kupper

Alpenschutz und Transitwiderstand seit 1975: Erträge eines internationalen Forschungsprojekts

Online access:


Thursday, 17 June

13.30-15.00, 3. Panel: Agriculture

Chair: Martin Lengwiler

Raphael Gerhardt

Wie die Europäische Gemeinschaft die Bergbauern entdeckte: Bayern und die Entstehung des EG-Bergbauernprogramms 1970-1975

Kommentar: Christina Pichler-Korban/ Michael Jungmeier

Martin Zückert

Die Landwirtschaft in den slowakischen und österreichischen Bergregionen – Akteur regionaler Transformation oder Problemfall in Nutzungskonflikten

Kommentar: Valerie Braun/ Andreas Haller


15.30-17.00, 4. Panel: Regional Planning

Chair: Kira Schmidt

Martin Stuber

Milchpipeline und Schneekanonen im Bärenland – Die Neuorganisation des Raums auf den Churer Alpen

Kommentar: Fabian Zimmer

Emma-Sophie Mouret

The road as a tool to study conflicts of use. The Vercors’ road network between various models of territorial development (1970-2020)

Kommentar: Jon Mathieu


17.30-19.00, Virtual excursion

Maria Buck/ Reinhard Nießner/ Wolfgang Meixner

Ein Spaziergang durch die Geschichte des Inntals


Friday, 18 June

9.00-10.30, 5. Panel: Nature Conservation 

Chair: Romed Aschwanden

Valerie Braun/ Andreas Haller

Entstehungsverläufe von Naturparks in Österreich am Beispiel Tirols in den österreichischen Alpen

Kommentar: Martin Stuber

Christina Pichler-Korban/ Michael Jungmeier

Von der Verlegenheitslösung zur internationalen Modellregion ‒ Die Nutzungs- und Konfliktgeschichte der Nockberge zwischen Chaletdorf und Biosphärenpark (1970 bis 2020)

Kommentar: Hester Margreiter


11.00-13.00, 6. Panel: Hydrower

Chair: Patrick Kupper

Sebastian De Pretto

Kein Raum für Konflikte? Machtstrukturen und Pfadabhängigkeiten der Wasserkraftnutzung in den Alpen am Beispiel des Lac d’Émossons im Kanton Wallis, 1953-1974

Kommentar: Raphael Gerhardt

Fabian Zimmer

Projecting “human problems”. EDF’s alpine hydropower constructions, industrial film, and the negotiation of public interest

Kommentar: Emma-Sophie Mouret 

Blaž Komac/ Matja Zorn

The Soca River in Slovenian Alps – A natural pearl or hydropower source? 

Kommentar: Giulia Beltrametti/Vittorio Tigrino


14.00-15.00, Conclusion and Outlook

CfP: Conflicts of use in the Alpine region since 1970

21-23 April 2021, Innsbruck

In the Alpine region, demands of use have always met and continue to meet, as it has had to fulfil the most diverse functions: The Alps have already been utilized as a rooftop garden, playground, water castle, and pass-through house of Europe, whereby the demands on the mountains in the areas of ecology, tourism, economy, and transport are evident here. While these requirements were mainly due to extra-Alpine needs, the demands of the inner-Alpine population, for whom the Alps served as a living, cultural and economic area, were also evident. However, the conflicts of use cannot only be located between inner and extra-Alpine demands, but also within these groups different interests collided. The Alps represented a common good which was subject to most diverse ecological, economic, social and cultural demands. In this context, the Alps should not be understood as a purely geographically defined region in Europe, but as a discursive space in which processes of appropriation, forms of belonging and ownership were negotiated. In addition, the numerous conflicts of use were related to competing concepts for the development of the Alpine region, which also included power claims.

The conference will focus on conflicts of use in the Alps since 1970, which, according to the initial thesis, have developed against the background of and in close interaction with an ecologization, Europeanisation and regionalization of the Alpine arc. Contributions are requested in the following areas:

- Tourism

- Traffic

- Energy

- Nature conservation

- Agriculture and forestry

- Culture

Both dense regional case studies and (cross-)alpine observations are welcome. Even if the Alps are the geographical reference point, contributions to other European mountain regions are also possible, as long as they compare or link to the Alps. Papers from history and related disciplines are welcome. If you are interested, please send an abstract of max. 500 words (German or English) as well as a short CV until 31.05.2020 to

Successful applicants are requested to submit a paper of their contribution to the extent of 30.000-40.000 characters by 15.03.2021. Conference languages are English and German; papers can also be submitted in French and Italian. It is planned to publish the contributions in volume 27 (2022) of "History of the Alps". The conference is organized by the FWF-DACH project "Issues with Europe. A Network Analysis of the German-speaking Alpine Conservation Movement (1975-2005)" and will take place on 21.04.-23.04.2021 at the University of Innsbruck. Costs on site and for travelling by train will be covered.



Maria Buck

Institut für Geschichtswissenschaften und Europäische Ethnologie

Universität Innsbruck

A-6020 Innsbruck

Call for Papers: European Infrastructures and Transnational Protest Movements

12-13 December 2019, Munich

A workshop organized by the project “Issues with Europe” and the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society

Venue: Kerschensteiner Kolleg of the Deutsches Museum, Munich, Germany 

Large-scale infrastructure projects and technologies have often been met with social resistance. Energy and transport infrastructures in particular have led to fierce and at times violent protest movements. Recent German examples of public protest against infrastructure projects include “Stuttgart 21,” over the reconstruction of Stuttgart main station and respective tributary railroad lines, and “Hambacher Forst,” over the extension of lignite open-cut mining into a small forest area between Aachen and Cologne. Both projects have become synonymous with civil disobedience against state and corporate interests—what social scientist James Scott would see as proof for the existence of “high modernism” in the twenty-first century.

Social protest against infrastructure projects and large-scale technologies has in fact a much longer and richer history. The new social movements that emerged not only in Germany but in many other Western European nations in the course of the 1960s and 1970s were often catalyzed by opposition to infrastructures which were understood as advancing technocratic and authoritarian policies and structures. The advance of nuclear energy in particular served as a seedbed for new social movements that encompassed left-wing fractions, Protestant churches, and everything inbetween. Sites of proposed nuclear reactors and transport infrastructures developed into protest zones, becoming what historian Frank Uekötter has called “environmental sites of memory.” In the German case, the nuclear power plants in Wyhl and Brockdorf, the planned nuclear reprocessing and storage sites in Wackersdorf and Gorleben, and “Startbahn West” at Frankfurt Airport have become signifiers for large-scale social protests, deeply engrained into the collective memory of the nation. The same holds true for Windscale/Sellafield in Great Britain, Fessenheim and Creys-Malville in France, Zwentendorf in Austria, and Ascó and Lemóniz in Spain, to name just a few. Nuclear energy for civil society has developed into a “public technology” (Helmuth Trischler and Robert Bud) that is deeply shaped by public engagement.

Wyhl also stands out as an early example of a trans-national protest movement. The small wine-growing village in southwest Germany experienced solidarity from neighbouring French Alsace and Swiss Basel. In the beginning, such protest movements had difficulties becoming international, but during the 1970s and 1980s, global resistance against nuclear power allowed for the transfer of knowledge, the transnational exchange of counter-expertise, and the rise of border-crossing protest cultures.

Similar patterns of social protest that oscillate between the regional and national poles on the one side and transnational concerns on the other can be observed in the case of European infrastructure projects, such as Alpine transit routes. The controversies over the construction of large-scale Alpine transit infrastructures both at the Gotthard and the Brenner Passes are currently being studied by the joint Austrian-German-Swiss research project “Issues with Europe: A Network Analysis of the German-speaking Alpine Conservation Movement (1975-2005),” based at the Universities of Innsbruck and Basel and the Rachel Carson Center in Munich (

We are looking for contributions on transnational protest movements against European infrastructures or infrastructure projects from the 1960s to the present.

This workshop is jointly funded by the Austrian Research Foundation (FWF), the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNF) and the German Research Foundation (DFG) and will take place from 12 to 13 December 2019at the Kerschensteiner Kolleg of the Deutsches Museum, Munich. Participants will be accommodated at the Kerschensteiner Kolleg and their travel expenses will be reimbursed.

Selection process:

“Issues with Europe” and the Rachel Carson Center look forward to hearing from applicants who are active in studying the emergence and development of social protest movements against European infrastructures. We ask you for an abstract of 300-500 words and a short CV.

We aim to avoid classic panel structure and promote an active exchange. Therefore, we will work with short input reports. Final drafts of papers (1500-2000 words) will be required by 15 November 2019. All papers will be circulated to the participants in advance.

Please send your application in a single PDF file by email to 30 June 2019. Successful applicants will be informed by 31 July 2019.


28 March 2019, Innsbruck
Workshop: „Von Chancen und Herausforderungen – Werkstattgespräche zur Historischen Netzwerkanalyse“ mit Dr. Marten Düring (University of Luxembourg)


04-05 June 2018, Innsbruck
Projekt Kick-off Workshop

Nach oben scrollen