Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Development, local politics and the 'new Europe' in County Donegal : an ethnographic study
Author: Collinson, Paul Scott
Awarding Body: Oxford Brookes University
Current Institution: Oxford Brookes University
Date of Award: 1999
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
This study is based upon ethnographic research conducted in County Donegal, the most northerly county in the Republic of Ireland, between January 1997 and January 1998. It is focused upon three "development communities" in the county: development professionals, voluntary activists working for area based community groups, and elected members of Donegal County Council. The primary aim of the study is to examine the social basis for the fragmentary nature of development activity in Donegal, in view of the new European Union-sponsored local development initiatives which have been implemented in Ireland during the past decade. It is argued that the way in which each of the three groups experience, talk about, understand and reify development elements which together provide the framework for their respective development discourses- can be interpreted most profitably in light of social factors. An extended case-study approach is used throughout, in order to provide a detailed exploration of the contrasting social environments in which the development process occurs in the county. In chapter one, a theoretical framework is established which takes as its cue the ideas of a number of development anthropologists working in non-European contexts, and, in drawing from this literature, the concept of II discourses of development" is introduced as an overall paradigm in which the empirical data are interpreted. Chapter two introduces Donegal as a place, concentrating on some of the historical events which have given rise to contemporary patterns of social organisation. Chapter three outlines the history of EU-sponsored development activity in Ireland, highlighting the distinctive nature of the EU's "bottom-up" model and providing the background for the principal empirical chapters which follow. In chapters four to seven, the contrasting social environments within which each "development community" operates are examined in detail. Particular attention is paid to the role of discourse in providing criteria for inclusion/ exclusion, and in disrupting the processes of communication within the development sector of the county as a whole. The study also has a number of secondary aims. Most notably, it seeks to extend the theoretical scope of Irish anthropology and the anthropology of the European Union by exploring the changing relationship between the locale and wider structures and influences in terms of the application of the EU's model of development in Donegal. Additionally, the final chapter includes a tentative assessment of the relevance of the data for policy prescription, in light of the recent government initiative to reform the local government system and the future of local development in Ireland.
Supervisor: MacClancy, Jeremy ; Hendry, Joy Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Ireland; European Union; Community development