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El ejercicio de la autonomía local en las acequias de la huerta de Valencia: la olvidada imbricación municipal (siglos XIII-XIX)


  • Tomás Peris-Albentosa



The aim of this paper is to show that rather than the municipality and the crown playing no role in water management in the Huerta de Valencia (the fertile farming lands around the city of Valencia), they were in fact political authorities that were heavily involved in this decision-making. I argue that it was a formally somewhat different way of exercising local autonomy due to the particular features of municipal power in the big city, which was the capital of the kingdom, but not for that reason was it more comprehensive than in the rest of Valencian irrigation channels. In addition to not being a radically specific exception as is often suggested (“management by autonomous user enterprises” as opposed to the other model of “municipal control”), neither was it an immutable formula. It was subject to a process of early demunicipalisation which, based on more direct and intense involvement of the capital’s council in the 13th and 14th centuries, gradually took hold and culminated in the 18th century bylaws, codes that consecrated the previous practice of governance of the irrigation channels of the Vega by an elected oligarchic board.

Suggested Citation

  • Tomás Peris-Albentosa, 2014. "El ejercicio de la autonomía local en las acequias de la huerta de Valencia: la olvidada imbricación municipal (siglos XIII-XIX)," Documentos de Trabajo de la Sociedad Española de Historia Agraria 1404, Sociedad Española de Historia Agraria.
  • Handle: RePEc:seh:wpaper:1404

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    Huerta de Valencia; irrigation; water management; nested enterprises; commons; municipal involvement;

    JEL classification:

    • N53 - Economic History - - Agriculture, Natural Resources, Environment and Extractive Industries - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • Q25 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Water
    • D74 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances; Revolutions
    • O47 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Empirical Studies of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence

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