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Kambites C.J.,Countryside and Community Research Institute
Sustainable Development

This article uses critical discourse analysis to analyse national level discourses of sustainable development in the UK through the 1990s and 2000s, as revealed in five documents produced by successive national governments during this period. After briefly reviewing the concept of sustainable development and its interpretations, national sustainable development discourses are analysed in the context of the wider political discourses that have arisen around the political ideologies of neo-liberalism, Thatcherism and New Labour. A critical discourse analysis, using the concept of 'discursive techniques', reveals the way in which the concept of sustainable development has been adapted to conform to the dominant political discourses of neo-liberalism, Thatcherism and New Labour. In this process, the term has been used to emphasize the compatibility of economic growth and environmental protection, and hence, arguably, has been used to avoid rather than to facilitate radical action. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment. Source

Curry N.,Countryside and Community Research Institute
Land Use Policy

The growth in community involvement in public domain decisions for rural spaces in England over the past 20 years has increased the overall costs of such decision-making. These transaction's costs can be grouped into four types pertaining to organisations, institutions, belief systems and knowledge and information (K&I). Within the last of these, costs can arise because of a lack of K&I, the costs of procuring K&I and K&I overload. In an empirical survey in Gloucestershire county in the south west region of England K&I transaction's costs were found to be increasing, particularly in relation to procurement and overload. The number of planning and policy documents as a subset of K&I had increased considerably in the case study area such that for the rural district of the Cotswolds 60 plans pertained simultaneously in 2007. Despite this, many of those involved in decision-making about rural spaces felt the costs involved in assimilating the information that they contained were worth paying if it allowed them to be better informed. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Morris C.,University of Nottingham | Kirwan J.,Countryside and Community Research Institute
Journal of Rural Studies

Among their many 'alternative' characteristics, food networks that seek to reconfigure the relationship between producers and consumers are understood as having the potential to be beneficial for the rural environment and landscape. One of the ways in which this characteristic has been conceptualised is through the notion of 'ecological embeddedness'. Although the roots of this concept lie in economic sociology, where the social embeddedness of economic relations has been the focus of interest, agro-food researchers have extended its meaning to suggest that alternative or 'quality' food production can also be seen as increasingly embedded in 'natural' or ecological processes. However, this paper argues that until now the notion of ecological embeddedness has lacked conceptual clarity. As such, the aim is to interrogate and refine the concept of embeddedness, specifically as it pertains to ecologies within the context of food production on-farm. Ecological embeddedness, it is argued, must encompass more than just recognition of the general influence of the natural environment on economic activity. Specifically, it must reflect a change in the relations between economic actors and the natural environment that produces a benefit to both. The paper also establishes how the concept of ecological embeddedness might be operationalised in research practice as a means of exploring the ecological dimensions of alternative food networks. An illustration of this empirical application is provided. The paper concludes by asserting the value of ecological embeddedness as a concept, in spite of the observed limitations of embeddedness in other contexts and the challenges that are associated with its ecological application. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Kambites C.J.,Countryside and Community Research Institute
Local Environment

The possible role of parish and town councils (local councils) in the local implementation of sustainable development has been overlooked both in research and in policy-making. This article is based on research into local councillors' attitudes to sustainability and to their own role within a single county. A "discourse of local council legitimation" is identified, in which local councillors see their communities as living organisms, whose interests they represent with the benefit of local knowledge and holistic thinking - characteristics which they see as absent at other levels of government. Local councillors essentially see their role as local and relatively shortterm - a perspective that will have to be addressed if local councils are to make a significant contribution to sustainability. © 2010 Taylor & Francis. Source

Curry N.,Countryside and Community Research Institute | Webber D.J.,Auckland University of Technology
Regional Studies

Curry N. and Webber D.J. Economic performance in rural England, Regional Studies. Measuring rural economic performance is obscured by the simultaneous use of two spatial platforms: the 'city-region' and the 'rural definition'. The characteristics of these spatial platforms for measuring rural economic performance are explored through plant-level productivity data. In general, English rural districts are less productive, but particularly where they are both lagging and fall outside city-regions. The cityregion platform exacerbates rural productivity performance, but since 2000, rural districts have not been charged with pursuing productivity objectives anyway. Rural economic policy Productivity Skills Industrial structure Curry N. et Webber D. J. La performance économique des zones rurales d'Angleterre, Regional Studies. Mesurer la performance économique rurale s'embrouille dans l'emploi simultané de deux plates-formes géographiques: à savoir, la 'région-cité' et la 'définition rurale'. A partir des données sur la productivité des établissements, on cherche à examiner les caractéristiques géographiques de ces plates-formes-ci pour mesurer la performance économique rurale. En règle générale, les zones rurales d'Angleterre s'avèrent moins productives, notamment là où elles sont en perte de vitesse et situées à l'extérieur des régions-cités. La région-cité en tant que plate-forme aggrave la performance des zones rurales quant à leur productivité, mais, depuis l'an 2000, on ne confie pas la charge de la réalisation des objectifs de la productivité aux zones rurales. Politique économique rurale Productivité Compétences Structure industrielle. Curry N. und Webber D. J. Wirtschaftsleistung ländlicher Gebiete in England, Regional Studies. Die Messung der Wirtschaftsleistung in ländlichen Gebieten wird durch den gleichzeitigen Einsatz von zwei verschiedenen räumlichen Plattformen verschleiert: der 'Stadtregion' und der 'Definition ländlicher Gebiete'. Wir untersuchen die Merkmale dieser räumlichen Plattformen zur Messung der Wirtschaftsleistung in ländlichen Gebieten mit Hilfe von Produktivitätsdaten auf Betriebsebene. Ländliche Gebiete sind in England generell weniger produktiv; dies ist jedoch insbesondere bei rückständigen Gebieten außerhalb von Stadtregionen der Fall. Die Plattform der Stadtregion verschlechtert die Leistung von ländlichen Gebieten; allerdings wurden die ländlichen Gebiete seit dem Jahr 2000 ohnehin nicht mit der Verwirklichung von Produktivitätszielen beauftragt.Wirtschaftspolitik in ländlichen Gebieten Produktivität Qualifikationen Branchenstruktur. Curry N. y Webber D. J. Desempeño económico en la Inglaterra rural, Regional Studies. La medición del desempeño económico rural está eclipsada por el uso simultáneo de dos plataformas espaciales: la 'región metropolitana' y la 'definición de rural'. Analizamos las características de estas plataformas espaciales para la medición del desempeño económico rural con ayuda de datos de productividad a nivel de empresas. En general, las comarcas rurales inglesas son menos productivas; esto ocurre sobre todo en comarcas menos desarrolladas y fuera de las regiones metropolitanas. La plataforma de las regiones metropolitanas empeora el rendimiento de la productividad rural, aunque de todas formas desde 2000 no se ha exigido a las comarcas rurales que consigan objetivos de productividad. Política económica rural Productividad Habilidades Estructura industrial. © 2012 Copyright Regional Studies Association. Source

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