In Uphill Struggles, Jörg Balsiger examines the role of mountains in the political landscape of modern nation states. He traces the evolution of regional policies for the Swiss Alps and California''s Sierra Neva during the last 35 years, illustrating how the nature and dynamics of actor constellations shaped the origin and unfolding of the two mountain policy domains. Drawing on a combination of historical review, expert interviews, and social network analysis, Balsiger explains why recent policies for the two mountain ranges have evolved in opposite directions: while the Alps have become a prime target for the establishment of new types of protected areas, developments in the Sierra Nevada have focused on sustainable mountain development as a way to overcome resource conflicts. Through the lens of mountain policies in Switzerland and California, Balsiger more broadly addresses the relationship between territory and function as it relates to the role of subnational regions in the contemporary nation state. The book will be of interest to researchers and professionals in political science, public administration, sociology, political geography, and sustainable development.