Geography (Scholarly Articles)

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  • Publication
    Beyond the Flâneur. Urban walking as peripatetic phenomenological pedagogy
    (Taylor and Francis Group, 2023-02-16) Strohmayer, Ulf
    This essay analyses a key motif in geographical scholarship: the most basic form of mobility achieved by an abled-bodied person engaging in acts of walking. By embedding “walking” firmly within a phenomenological tradition, the essay places “being mobile” qua walking within a field of enquiry that conceptualises an embodied form of mobility as both enabling and limiting. Building furthermore from a growing body of literature that has differentiated between “walking” as an active form of engagement and a host of different geographically relevant modes of being, the paper adds a specifically epistemological set of considerations in an attempt critically to contribute to existing literatures and to interrogate the embodied practice of walking. Key in this endeavour is the contribution mobile modes of existence make to the construction of knowledge about the social world. The paper concludes with a prolegomena that recasts walking in the form of a geographically informed pedagogical practice.
  • Publication
    Irish organics, innovation and farm collaboration: A pathway to farm viability and generational renewal
    (MDPI, 2021-12-22) Farrell, Maura; Murtagh, Aisling; Weir, Louise; Conway, Shane Francis; McDonagh, John; Mahon, Marie; Horizon 2020
    The family farm has been the pillar of rural society for decades, stabilising rural economies and strengthening social and cultural traditions. Nonetheless, family farm numbers across Europe are declining as farmers endeavour to overcome issues of climate change, viability, farm structural change and intergenerational farm succession. Issues around farm viability and a lack of innovative agricultural practices play a key role in succession decisions, preventing older farmers from passing on the farm, and younger farmers from taking up the mantel. A multifunctional farming environment, however, increasingly encourages family farms to embrace diversity and look towards innovative and sustainable practices. Across the European Union, organic farming has always been a strong diversification option, and although, historically, its progress was limited within an Irish context, its popularity is growing. To examine the impact of organic farm diversification on issues facing the Irish farm family, this paper draws on a qualitative case study with a group of Irish organic farmers engaged in the Maximising Organic Production System (MOPS) EIP-AGRI Project. The case study was constructed using a phased approach where each stage shaped the next. This started with a desk-based analysis, then moving on to semi-structured interviews and a focus group, which were then consolidated with a final feedback session. Data gathering occurred in mid to late 2020. Research results reveal the uptake of innovative practices not only improve farm viability, but also encourage the next generation of young farmers to commit to the family farm and consider farming long-term
  • Publication
    Obstacles facing access to land in Europe / Affrontare l’ostacolo all’accesso alla terra in Europa
    (Italian National Rural Network, 2022-12-16) Conway, Shane
    [No abstract available]
  • Publication
    ‘Farmers don’t retire’: Re-evaluating how we engage with and understand the ‘Older’ farmer’s perspective
    (MDPI, 2022-02-22) Conway, Shane Francis; Farrell, Maura B.; McDonagh, John; Kinsella, Anne; College of Arts, Social Sciences & Celtic Studies
    Globally, policy aimed at stimulating generational renewal in agriculture is reported to pay meagre regard to the mental health and wellbeing of an older farmer, overlooking their identity and social circles, which are inextricably intertwined with their occupation and farm. This paper, in probing this contentious issue, casts its net across what could be deemed as disparate literatures, namely connected to transferring the family farm and social gerontology, in order to determine what steps could be taken to reassure older farmers that their sense of purpose and legitimate social connectedness within the farming community will not be jeopardised upon handing over the farm business to the next generation. A number of practical `farmer-sensitive¿ actions that can be taken at both policy and societal level are subsequently set forth in this paper to help ease the fear and anxiety associated with `stepping aside¿ and retirement from farming amongst older farmers. A particular focus is placed on social and emotional wellbeing benefits of being a member of a social group reflecting farmer-relevant values and aspirations in later life. The potential of the multi-actor EIP-AGRI initiative and the long-established livestock mart sector in facilitating the successful rollout of a social organisation designed to fit the specific needs and interests of the older generation of the farming community is then outlined. In performing this, the paper begins a broad international conversation on the potential of transforming farming into an age-friendly sector of society, in line with the World Health Organization¿s (WHO) age-friendly environments concept.
  • Publication
    Going against the grain: Unravelling the habitus of older farmers to help facilitate generational renewal in agriculture
    (Wiley, 2021-05-22) Conway, Shane Francis; McDonagh, John; Farrell, Maura; Kinsella, Anne; College of Arts, Social Sciences, and Celtic Studies, University of Galway; Geographical Society of Ireland (GSI)
    Limited uptake of financial incentives, designed to confront global trends of an ageing farming population and low levels of land mobility, reveal resistance or at best ambivalence, amongst farmers towards altering existing farm management and ownership structures in later life. To uncover facets governing the mind-set, disposition, and practices of older farmers towards succession and retirement, this study draws on Bourdieu's notion of habitus. A multi-method triangulation methodology is employed to obtain in-depth understandings of the senior generation's deeply embedded views, and the changes they perceive will occur upon their engagement in the process. Findings reveal that the attitudes and behaviour required to step aside and retire from farming, not only go against the grain of the older farmers habitus, appearing to be instinctively wrong , they also appear incompatible with what is necessary to earn recognition as a good farmer . The paper concludes by recommending that a shift in thinking towards succession and retirement must be confronted at an earlier life stage in order to inculcate a new farming habitus. In doing this, long-term resolutions through generating a regularised, accepted and well-regarded practice of intergenerational farm transfer within the farming community would be promoted.
  • Publication
    The task of envisioning security for the Anthropocene
    (Royal Irish Academy, 2023) Morrissey, John
    Our Anthropocene age is defined by a wide array of anthropogenic pressures on planet Earth, which have produced multiple human and environmental insecuri ties. From climate change to population displacements, from ecosystem degra dation to global pandemics, we are faced with unprecedented human and environmental emergencies. Safeguarding the future hinges on generating a wider understanding of ‘security’ that sees the need for holistic strategy, global solidarity and multilateral cooperation. We need a security imaginary trans formed by critical and responsible thinking on economic production and plane tary precarity, and we require such a vision to manifest in new governmentalities that set us on the right path towards a shared future. This paper reflects on the challenge of establishing holistic understandings of security which can be drawn upon more effectively to respond to the intersecting crises unfolding on the planet. In seeking to reframe global security strategy, the paper underscores an interlinked sense of human-environmental security which extends the UN’s human security concept to address the overlapping precarities of our human and non-human worlds. It considers in particular the role of legal and regula tory mechanisms in curbing the ecological excesses of late modern capitalism; and in seeking to transcend narrow statist formulations of security, the paper illuminates our global interconnections, which require us to renew and support networks of international solidarity and multilateral cooperation.
  • Publication
    A comprehensive roadmap to 50 years of (Satellite) earth observation resources for the island of Ireland (1972 – 2023)
    (Geographical Society of Ireland, 2019) Maguire, Daithí
    A comprehensive review of optical (panchromatic, multispectral and hyperspectral) and synthetic aperture radar satellite imagery coverage for terrestrial and near-shore areas of interest on the island of Ireland. The review spans 50 years and includes approximately 170+ retired and operational Earth Observation (EO) satellite sensors, and a further 60+ EO satellite sensors which are planned to be launched over the next five years. Satellite characteristics and sensor capabilities are listed in tabular form and the extents of the spatial and temporal coverage of the island of Ireland are estimated for each sensor (as available). Guidance on how to access this data is provided, with an emphasis on gaining free or reduced cost access for research and scientific purposes. Information on free open source software tools for viewing, processing and analysing EO imagery is provided, along with a selection of online resource and reference materials.
  • Publication
    Hijacking the 3Ss to ground reflective co-management of beach-dune environments
    (Elsevier, 2021-12-23) Lynch, Kevin
    The global drive to provide the 3Ss (Sun, Sand and Sea) for the benefit of tourists has been a contributory factor in the parallel deterioration of beach-dune habitats on our coasts. In Europe, this has happened at a time when habitat conservation and integrated coastal zone management have been strongly backed to redress declining habitat condition. This paper proposes that we hijack the 3Ss slogan and use it as one tool in the continuing struggle to effect a transition to genuine sustainable coastal management. In this reappropriation of the slogan, the 3Ss stand for Sand, Space and Species. The new 3Ss would facilitate a shared focus on what are the essential components required for long-term, healthy beach-dune systems, using straight-forward language to initiate conversations between very diverse stakeholder groups.
  • Publication
    Alteration spaces: Charting the sustainability potential of large organizations
    (Elsevier, 2021-10-08) Goggins, Gary; Rau, Henrike
    Large organizations play a key role in sustainability transitions through their systems of production and consumption and their influence on wider society. Recognizing the uniqueness and complexity of structure-agency relations in organizations, this paper uses the example of food provisioning to compare the sustainability potential of eight national and multinational organizations located in Ireland. By introducing the novel concept of ‘alteration spaces’ to describe specific intra-organizational structure-agency constellations and their dynamics over time, we question existing interventionist views of organizational change. We argue these tend to overstate extra-organizational impulses for change while paying insufficient attention to organizational culture and committed individuals as potential sustainability advocates within organizations. This, in turn, facilitates a reconceptualization of individual agency as embedded within an organizational context, thereby challenging dominant understandings that disregard the potential of established organizations to initiate intra-organizational changes that shape and reflect sustainability transitions.
  • Publication
    Planetary precarity and 'More-Than-Human Security' : The securitization challenge in the aftermath of COVID-19
    (Librello, 2021-07-09) Morrissey, John
    COVID-19 has elevated anew the import of holistically conceiving human-environmental well-being and tackling the overarching precarities of our ecologies, societies and public health in strategies of securitization. This paper considers the key challenge of reimagining securitization in the aftermath of COVID-19 and makes two core arguments. The first is that in addressing precarity a key starting point lies in being mindful of how it is differentially experienced across multiple social hierarchies in the human world. The paper draws upon Judith Butler s work on frames of seeing to consider how our current moment can elicit a contrapuntal concern for those who have always been precarious but not in view. The second core argument is that it is vital to move beyond a concern for human precarity to a concern for a broader sense of planetary precarity, which in turn prompts the need to strategize for a more-than-human sense of security. Developing the concept of human security , the paper reflects on how we can usefully envision a more-than-human security for a more biologically stable and sustainable planet.
  • Publication
    Challenging practices: experiences from community and individual living lab approaches
    (Taylor & Francis, 2021-05-20) Matschoss, Kaisa; Fahy, Frances; Rau, Henrike; Backhaus, Julia; Goggins, Gary; Grealis, Eoin; Heiskanen, Eva; Kajoskoskia, Tuija; Laakso, Senja; Apajalahti, Eeva-Lotta; Genus, Audley; Godin, Laurence; Iskandarova, Marfuga; Musch, Annika-Kathrin; Sahakian, Marlyne; Scholl, Christian; Vadovics, Edina; Vasseur, Veronique; Horizon 2020
    In this article, we examine a change initiative designed to involve households in testing ways to transform two everyday practices heating and doing laundry. The research design included an examination of the challenges of changing practices either in a setting that fosters collective engagement or with individual households. Two different types of living labs were carried out simultaneously in eight European countries in Autumn Winter 2018. We reflect on differences in results in terms of both changes in practices and the experiences of participating households that we argue can be at least partially attributed to householders engagement in different types of living labs. We discuss the implications of an individual-focused vs. community-oriented approach for change initiatives seeking to challenge social norms for sustainability transitions, concentrating in particular on differences in the nature of participants engagement and their willingness and ability to challenge routine practices. This is complemented by analytical reflections on the differences in design, interaction, and performance between the two types of living labs. We show that an explicit focus on collaborative engagement in living labs can produce results that reflect shared experiences, community support, challenging established norms, and collective commitment toward change.
  • Publication
    Challenging social norms to recraft practices: A Living Lab approach to reducing household energy use in eight European countries
    (Elsevier, 2021-02-10) Sahakian, Marlyne; Rau, Henrike; Grealis, Eoin; Godin, Laurence; Wallenborn, Grégoire; Backhaus, Julia; Friis, Freja; Genus, Audley T.; Goggins, Gary; Heaslip, Eimear; Heiskanen, Eva; Iskandarova, Marfuga; Jensen, Charlotte Louise; Laakso, Senja; Musch, Annika-Katrin; Scholl, Christian; Vadovics, Edina; Vadovics, Kristof; Vasseur, Véronique; Fahy, Frances; Horizon 2020
    ENERGISE is the first large-scale European effort to reduce household energy use through a change initiative that adopted a ‘living lab’ approach informed by social practice theory. Two challenges were introduced to 306 households in eight countries: to lower indoor temperatures and to reduce laundry cycles. This contribution demonstrates the usefulness of a practice-centered design that takes habits and routines as an entry point for understanding how different ‘elements of practices’ can be re-crafted. We discuss how a participatory ‘living lab’ approach that explicitly encouraged deliberation and reflexivity served to sharpen attention on practices as central to change. We discuss how ‘doing laundry’ and ‘keeping warm’, as very different types of practices, responded to the change initiative. For laundry, tangible changes in material arrangements, news skills and sensory competencies, and shifts in what is seen as ‘normal’ proved to be central to reducing wash cycles, including wearing clothes more often, airing them out, using smell to gauge cleanliness, or keeping dirty clothes out of sight. Warming people rather than spaces through added layers and activities, and related shifts in norms around thermal comfort, emerged as crucial steps towards lowering indoor temperatures. Average changes in reported temperatures and wash cycles indicate that reductions are possible, without an emphasis on individuals or technologies as central to change. We end with a discussion on the implications of our approach for energy sufficiency thinking and practice, emphasizing the merits of taking the complexity of everyday life seriously when designing change initiatives.
  • Publication
    Creating context for corridors of consumption: the case of Ireland
    (Taylor & Francis, 2021-01-25) Lavelle, Mary Jo; Fahy, Frances
    Global consumption levels are significant contributors to detrimental environmental change and the current climate crisis. Across Ireland, domestic consumption levels have increased dramatically during the past three decades. Public discourse has focused primarily on minimum levels of consumption, with media outlets frequently reporting on minimum wages and acceptable minimum levels of food, shelter, and healthcare. A dearth of dialogue exists on the concept of maximum levels of consumption. This article proffers that the concept of consumption corridors provides a timely lens to initiate discussion and to critically consider the potential of ascertaining maximum levels of consumption across Ireland. Drawing on analyses of an extensive database of 1,500 households across two policy regions − Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland − we argue that there is no single universally just and ecologically sustainable way of setting limits to consumption. Numerous factors must be considered including scale, policy influences, cultural understandings, and varying expectations of standards of living and quality of life. The article reports on participants’ perceptions of material items as needs and satisfiers and aims to advance methodological applications of the consumption-corridors concept. This study offers evidence highlighting a need for tailored sustainability policies.
  • Publication
    Mobilising the language of emergency: Human security and climate action discourse
    (Royal Irish Academy, 2020) Morrissey, John
    This paper considers the UN's 1994 concept of human security as indispensable in progressively framing climate security discourse. It argues for a human security agenda that encapsulates a broad and integrated security strategy in which climate change is addressed in a holistic manner along with related human-environmental precarities. The paper reflects on how we might productively conceptualise and enact a human security vision of climate action, how such a vision requires us to think differently and cooperatively about security, and ultimately how this compels us to prioritise a security discourse of shared precarity and collective responsibility.
  • Publication
    Alternative energy imaginaries: Implications for energy research, policy integration and the transformation of energy systems
    (Elsevier, 2021-01-16) Genus, Audley; Iskandarova, Marfuga; Goggins, Gary; Fahy, Frances; Laakso, Senja; Horizon 2020
    The paper highlights shortcomings in the contribution of qualitative social sciences and humanities (SSH) research to tackling challenges connected with energy and climate change. These shortcomings are illustrated based on analysis of data gathered in relation to EU (e.g. Horizon 2020; FP7) and European national research funding and energy policy. The paper finds that a techno-economic energy imaginary continues to dominate European energy systems and governs expectations of energy research and its conduct, the integration of SSH with energy policy-making and the framing and foci of policy. A more nuanced, context-sensitive approach is presented as an alternative practices and cultural change energy imaginary. This emphasises attention to social practices relevant to energy use, interdisciplinarity and the coproduction of knowledge with diverse actors. Adoption of such an imaginary can help to enhance policy integration of SSH and the contribution of SSH to ameliorating energy and climate change challenges while providing insight into why gaps occur between (supra)national energy policy and local practices.
  • Publication
    Subaltern learnings: climate resilience and human security in the Caribbean
    (Routledge, 2020-11-05) Jerez Columbié, Yairen; Morrissey, John
    The United Nations’ invocation of ‘human security’ a generation ago promised a world increasingly governed by a ‘people-centred’ security agenda. In this paper we focus on arguably the most vital global security challenge faced throughout the planet today: climate resilience. We outline how advancing smart climate action and securing climate resilience can be aided by securitization practices that recall the earlier emphases of the United Nations’ human security concept. The paper draws upon evidence from the Caribbean as a territory defined dominantly as part of the Global South, yet offering vital knowledge of productive climate security governance that can be instructive to the Global North. The impacts of global warming are particularly evident for the people of small island developing states such as those located in the Caribbean. By analysing the case of Cuba as a country increasingly resilient to extreme weather events, and by interrogating the genealogy of the broader Caribbean’s hurricane culture, we show how an effective human security vision for climate justice and resilience can be achieved by recognizing and integrating the valuable forms of locally attuned knowledge that continue to emerge and coalesce in vulnerable geographies.
  • Publication
    Understanding the farmer-farm relationship in later life
    (Teagasc, 2018-05-24) Conway, Shane; McDonagh, John; Farrell, Maura; Kinsella, Anne; National University of Ireland, Galway
    Research from NUI Galway looks at the complex and deeply emotional relationships older farmers have with their farms, and the impact this has on family farm transfer.
  • Publication
    New opportunities and cautionary steps? Farmers, forestry and rural development in Ireland
    (Sciendo, 2011-03-30) McDonagh, John; Farrell, Maura; Mahon, Marie; Ryan, Mary
    It is argued that European agriculture is currently confronted with a multitude of critical challenges and developmental changes, in which the viability of farms based solely on traditional forms of production applies only to a minority who can compete at the level and scale of global markets. The challenge to the remaining majority of farmers and to wider agricultural communities is to remain viable through adoption of alternative farm activities and enterprises under what is described as a multifunctional model of agriculture. One activity that is emerging as a realistic economic option under this rural restructuring is forestry. From an increasing range of policy perspectives within agriculture, rural development, environment, tourism and industry, forestry is becoming redefined as much more than a resource for primary production. It is also an activity which offers enormous potential as a secondary resource, particularly when its significance as an ecological, amenity, recreational and environmental reserve is successfully realised. However, evidence would suggest that Irish farmers have been particularly slow to embrace forestry as a potential resource. In what is generally accepted as a time of economic crisis for the agricultural sector, this paper explores the perceptions, attitudes and apparent reluctance of Irish farmers to engage in forestry as a viable farm enterprise. We assess this evidence against the prevailing EU and national policy context for forestry, particularly the range of incentives and/or barriers to forestry, and seek to establish if, and to what extent, reasons lie within the policy context, or whether farmers contest the notion of forestry as an agricultural activity for other, more ideological or practical, reasons.
  • Publication
    China's emerging role in the global semiconductor value chain
    (Elsevier, 2020-04-18) Grimes, Seamus; Du, Debin
    The global model of semiconductor development has resulted in an asymmetric and interdependent relationship between China's critical role in semiconductor production and those regions such as the US which control the key inputs into the value chain. While this unbalanced relationship has facilitated many of the companies involved in the value chain in exploiting the comparative advantage of different locations for different functions and has allowed a complex ecosystem of supplier networks to emerge over time, the increasing influence of geopolitical considerations associated with the growing tensions between the US and China has created considerable uncertainty about the future evolution of this value chain. It is within this uncertain context that China's efforts to achieve greater autonomy in the development of its own semiconductor sector will be examined in this paper.
  • Publication
    Rural out-migration and return: perspectives on the everyday reality and the idyll in Ireland
    (Departament de Geografia, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, 2020-02) Cawley, Mary
    The aim of this article is to add to understandings of the rural idyll as an influence on return migration. Interviews were conducted with thirty-four first generation rural returnees in Ireland and their responses were analysed in depth. Unemployment and constraints on career and personal fulfilment influenced migration overseas, usually, to a major city. Consciousness of the loss of features of the idyll emerged in adapting to life in the destination area. Memories of the positive features of family and rural life influenced return, particularly for those with children, but the capacity to return was dependent for most on economic circumstances. Certain features of the idyll were recaptured on return but everyday rural reality intruded also. Some people migrated again. An improved understanding of the idyll and of the everyday reality should help to better inform policy to re-attract out-migrants back to the countryside.