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Title: Bays, berths and sunsets :environmental debate in a Mediterranean coastal town
Author: Cummings, Colin
Awarding Body: Queen's University Belfast
Current Institution: Queen's University Belfast
Date of Award: 2007
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What are the social and cultural processes that infonn transformations of the physical environment? The thesis addresses this question in relation to the debate over plans to develop the port facilities in the town ofCiutadella in Menorca. The 'port debate' is treated as a political discourse which sees different levels of government as well as environmental and other interest groups, involved in a struggle to defme the future reality. of the port environment. Such an approach facilitates an examination of how participants in the debate are constrained by dominant ~ulturally construed ideas about what constitutes legitimate argument in the context ofdecision-making about the environment, and how some seek to renegotiate this discursive framework. Opposing sides in the debate are seen to attach divergent meanings to categories and concepts such as 'science', 'quality tourism', 'progress', and 'quality of life' . But the question ofhow certain meanings come to exercise paramountcy over others necessitates 'a, consideration ofthe working ofpower, and in the port debate, power is seen to be exercised on tWo distinct levels. First, in the fonn ofattempts by. government to implement policy in ways that, according to others, ignore its legal and moral obligations. Second, in the more subtle ways in which institutions act to structure the debate witllin the parameters ofmodernist rationality. TIle thesis ends by considering a further dimension of the debate; how some activists use a discourse about 'quality of life' to express em~tional commitments to various locally anchored relationships that give meaning to their lives. These holistic arguments can be read as an attempt to argue beyond the constraints of modernist rationality, in seeking to confront a model of development that is perceived as being ecologically, socially, culturally, and ultimately 'spiritually', danmging.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available