Rural Politics: Policies for Agriculture, Forestry, and the Environment

Rural Politics: Policies for Agriculture, Forestry, and the Environment

Rural Politics: Policies for Agriculture, Forestry, and the Environment

Rural Politics: Policies for Agriculture, Forestry, and the Environment

Synopsis

This book examines the issues affecting rural areas, such as water pollution, forestry, and the greening of agricultural policy. It focuses on the political parameters surrounding these issues.

Excerpt

preamble

In writing Rural Politics I have had two main audiences in mind: those involved in the world of policy and politics who might wish to know more about specific aspects of rural policy and institutions, especially regarding the genesis and historical antecedents for current policies; and students concerned with rural issues who need to know more about the policies which affect, and have affected, rural land use and life in the countryside generally. I have in mind, particularly, undergraduates taking courses in Agricultural Economics, Rural Land Management, Countryside Planning, Geography and Environmental Sciences. Most of the chapters could be expanded to form books in themselves! My aim has been to condense large volumes of information to produce an accurate picture of the development of key aspects of rural policy. Inevitably this has involved a good deal of selectivity and the text is fully referenced so as to provide guidance to appropriate further reading.

I have defined ‘rural’ in an entirely pragmatic and geographical sense to refer to areas dominated by extensive land uses and primarily, in this instance, by agriculture and forestry. It is as well to point out at this stage that there is no such thing as a ‘rural policy’ in the uk. There are no departments of rural affairs, nor does ‘rural’ command a legal and statutory definition, except with regard to settlement size.

Although I deplore some of the consequences of separating agriculture and environment, I decided to organise the book along these lines. There is no conceptual justification for such a decision, only the pragmatic one that the worlds of policy making and policy implementation are organised in this way. the structure of the book merely reflects that empirical reality.

the historical approach

My approach is unashamedly historical. I have resisted the temptation to catalogue the vast array of rural policy prognoses that have poured from the pens of politicians, academics, journalists and pressure groups in recent years. All too often students’ views of rural policy are based almost entirely on the most recent proposals for reform as though debate on these issues . . .

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