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Diverse forms of conservation and development are transforming the material landscapes and related livelihoods of communities in rural places around the world. While many studies focus on changing protected area governance and ecotourism efforts associated with nature protection, other studies focus on residential development in areas experiencing amenity migration. We use a comparative political ecology approach that draws on key insights from the political ecology literature, first, on neoliberal protected area expansion, and, second, on exurbia that highlight the dynamics of competing rural capitalisms and reterritorialization in areas experiencing amenity migration to explore these coupled conservation and development dynamics. Drawing on the case of the Kazdağları (Ida Mountains) along the Bay of Edremit in western Turkey, we examine how changing environmental governance associated with the region's national park created key conditions for the emergence of new real estate dynamics that supported amenity-related development in some villages. Yet our research also uncovers further uneven rural landscape changes and divergent outcomes associated with this reterritorialization process. Our findings suggest the presence of counter-territorialization dynamics, or the efforts of culturally distinctive villages in rural areas to resist these landscape changes. In the Kazdağları, selective strategies of engagement and non-engagement with the real estate market contribute to these divergent outcomes. To protect their cultural identity, villagers commodify particular landscape features, which enable these counter-territorializaton efforts to succeed. These findings hold insights for efforts to understand landscape patterns in rural areas characterized by changing protected area governance, high levels of natural amenity attracting in-migrants, and settlements with distinctive cultural identities.


This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Elsevier in Journal of Rural Studies, volume 62, August 2018, pages 195-208, available online: