Publication Details

This book chapter was originally published as Mohr, R, Territory, Landscape and Law in Three Images of the Basque Country, in Taylor, W (ed) The Geography of Law: Landscape, Identity and Regulation, Oxford, 2006, 17-32.


Spending time in the Basque country while preparing a contribution to a workshop on landscape and identity focussed my attention on how the Basques were expressing their own identity in their own characteristic and lovely landscape. On arriving in Bilbao a few weeks before the regional elections in 2001, I read the Spanish newspaper El Mundo's description of the Basque landscape as a "Gulag", where the populace lived in fear of terrorism and xenophobia. This was hardly the first impression that came to my mind as I walked streets full of election posters, shoppers, and groups of people dropping in to bars to meet friends over a glass of wine.

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