1st Edition

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

Edited By John McDonagh, Tony Varley Copyright 2009
    420 Pages
    by Routledge

    418 Pages
    by Routledge

    By examining a range of experiences from both the north and south of Ireland, this book asks what the ideal of sustainable development might mean to specific rural groups and how sustainable development goals have been pursued across the policy spectrum. It assesses the extent of commitment to a living countryside in Ireland and compares various opportunities and obstacles to the actual achievement of sustainable rural development. How different sectors of rural society will be challenged in terms of future survival provides an overarching theme throughout.

    Contents: The politics of rural sustainability, Tony Varley, John McDonagh and Sally Shortall; Part I Policy and Planning for Sustainability: A legal framework for sustainable development in rural areas of the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, Yvonne Scannell and Sharon Turner; Environmental lessons for rural Ireland from the European Union: how great expectations in Brussels get dashed in Bangor and Belmullet, Brendan Flynn; Governance for regional sustainable development: building institutional capacity in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, Gerard Mullally and Brian Motherway; Regional planning and sustainability, Mark Scott; Managing rural nature: regulation, translations and governance in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, Hilary Tovey. Part II Primary Production and Sustainability: Agriculture and multifunctionality in Ireland, John Feehan and Deirdre O'Connor; Sustainable forestry in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, Roy W. Tomlinson and John Fennessy; Governance and sustainability: impacts of the Common Fisheries Policy in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, David Meredith and Joan McGinley; Production, markets and the coastal environment: exploring the social sustainability of Irish aquaculture, John Phyne. Part III Information Technology, Tourism and Sustainability: Knowledge-based competition: implications for sustainable development in rural Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, Seamus Grimes and Stephen Roper; Conflict to consensus: contested notions of sustainable rural tourism on the island of Ireland, Ruth McAreavey, John McDonagh and Maria Heneghan. Part IV Social Differentiation and Sustainability: Demography of rural decline and expansion, Trutz Haase; 'A growing concern': youth, sustainable lifestyle and livelihood in rural Ireland, Brian McGrath; Rural ageing and public policy in Ireland, Eamon O'Shea; Gender and sustainability in rural Ireland, Sally Shortall and Anne Byrne; The Irish language and the future of the Gaeltacht regions of Ireland, Seosamh Mac Donnacha and Conchúr Ó Giollagáin. Part V Sustainability and Civil Society: Environmental movements in Ireland: North and South, John Barry and Peter Doran; Populism and the politics of community survival in rural Ireland, Tony Varley; The road to sustainable transport: community groups, rural transport programmes and policies in Ireland, Henrike Rau and Colleen Hennessy. Conclusion: Sustainability and getting the balance right in rural Ireland, John McDonagh, Tony Varley and Sally Shortall; Index.


    Dr John McDonagh is from the Department of Geography and Dr Tony Varley is from the Department of Politics both at the National University of Ireland, Galway. Dr Sally Shortall is Director of the Gibson Institute for Land Food and Environment at Queen's University Belfast, Northern Ireland.

    'I warmly recommend this book which asks who decides what is sustainable rural development, how is this pursued in practice, and who gains and who loses? These questions are addressed in the context of the Irish experience, and will be of interest to readers in many countries.' Mark Shucksmith, Newcastle University, UK 'By using the island of Ireland as a detailed case study, A Living Countryside? provides an in-depth, interdisciplinary exploration of rural sustainable development in all its facets. In so doing, the chapters provide a valuable overview of the challenges facing rural communities and businesses and the various policy responses adopted at different scales from the local to the EU. It will be a valuable companion to student, professor and policy maker alike.' Rob Kitchin, National University of Ireland, Ireland 'This book places a marker in the sand for the politics of sustainability within rural Ireland and its contents have much to contribute to wider debates about sustainability politics beyond Ireland.' Journal of Environmental Policy and Planning '... this is a valuable book full of interesting insights which provides a spendid interdisciplinary survey of recent change in rural Ireland viewed through the lens of sustainable development. The comparative north-south perspective is always extremely illuminating, and individual chapters will surely become required readings in their particular specialist areas.' Journal of Rural History