Henrik Svensson
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My research interest concerns questions regarding the development of the cultural landscape over a long period of time. My own contributions have primarily addressed issues related to the agrarian transformation process during the early modern period, with a specific focus on institutional change, property rights, and enclosure reforms.

At the turn of the year 2023/2024, I stepped down from a long-standing position as dean and have resumed my research in this area. I have defined it as a project with the overarching title: The institutional change of land ownership during the agrarian revolution - driving forces and consequences.

The project is divided into four sub-studies.

  1. Piecemeal enclosure. The empirical basis consists of the geometric maps from the 17th and 18th centuries, which are compared with the situation at the start of the enclosure reforms. The aim is to examine to what extent the landscape was already undergoing a process of partitioning of common lands, individualization, and consolidation before the enclosures.
  2. The initiative - those who applied and those who applauded. The empirical basis consists of the minutes of the enclosure meetings where the question of individual enclosure was posed to the entire village community, whether those who did not apply for individual enclosure also wanted to participate in it or not. The aim is to investigate where, when, and to what extent desires for the consolidation of land lots took place and how the issue was discussed locally.
  3. Development of production and investments in the wake of increased individualization. The empirical basis consists of an analysis of landscape development by comparing cross-sections of the situation (studies of map materials and aerial photographs) over time. The aim is to investigate when and where new cultivation and investments in land-based capital mainly occur.
  4. The linguistic development of the cultural landscape. In this sub-study, names of individual farms and field names within villages are examined in order to discuss evidence for an individualization of the landscape.


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