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.
'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