The production of space: A neglected perspective in pastoral research

Yuval Karplus, Avinoam Meir

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


This paper offers an overview of the dispersed elements of social spatiality present in the rich work about pastoralists and their space, and brings them together under the conceptual framework of Lefebvre's production of space. The three facets of pastorally produced space are outlined: 'perceived space', low-intensity spatial footprints linked by seasonal migratory trails; 'conceived space', social territoriality and agrarian socialism; and 'lived space', ideologies of spatial attachment that transcend a particular place. Based on this framework, we discuss and illustrate with case studies the relational aspects between pastoral economic, cultural, and political structures and their spatiality. We suggest that such an engagement highlights the reciprocal constitutive interaction between space and society and the coherent nature of the production of pastoral space. We argue that the extent to which pastoral spatial coherence can be maintained in the face of pressures from other, rival, and often more powerful spatialities is paramount to the sustainability of pastoralist existence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-42
Number of pages20
JournalEnvironment and Planning D: Society and Space
Issue number1
StatePublished - 8 Apr 2013


  • Pastoralism
  • Production of space
  • Social sustainability
  • Structural coherence
  • Trial by space

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)


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