Academic journal article Geography

A Living Countryside? the Politics of Sustainable Development in Rural Ireland

Academic journal article Geography

A Living Countryside? the Politics of Sustainable Development in Rural Ireland

Article excerpt

A Living Countryside? The politics of sustainable development in rural Ireland Edited by John McDonagh, Tony Varley and Sally Shortall Farnham: Ashgate, 2009 397pp, 16x24cm Hb: £65.00, ISBN 978-0-75464669-3

This well written and thoroughly researched book is part of the publisher's Perspectives on Rural Policy and Planning series and its primary audience is likely to be graduates and senior undergraduates with a specialist interest in rural policy issues. These rural issues are explored through the theme of sustainable development, broadly defined as 'the continuation of the economic, social, institutional and environmental components of rural life'. The book brings together contributions from a wide range of academics and practitioners from across the social science disciplines. The diversity of issues addressed is indicated by the titles of the five sections: policy and planning; primary production; information technology and tourism; social differentiation; civil society. These issues are dealt with through individual chapters, each of which attempts to 'engage with the politics of sustainability by considering how oppositions between balanced and imbalanced development are working themselves out in a variety of guises'.

The first chapter serves as an introduction to the book and to the issue of rural sustainability, linking the wider debates about the concept of sustainable development to the empirical examples addressed in the book. It emphasises particularly the political context, at a variety of scales, within which sustainability is pursued. …

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