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    Rooting and reaching: insights from Love Leitrim’s successful resistance to fracking in Ireland

    Gorman, Jamie (2021) Rooting and reaching: insights from Love Leitrim’s successful resistance to fracking in Ireland. Community Development Journal, 57 (1). pp. 17-39. ISSN 0010-3802

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    What can community development learn from frontline community resistance to extractivism and the fossil fuel industry? In the global North, environmental governance often operates within the dominant mode of neoliberal ‘environmentality’ (Luke. 1999. Environmentality as green governmentality, in E. Darier ed, Discourses of the Environment, Black- well, Oxford), conceptualizing environmental action in individualized and depoliticized ways. This is compounded by the discursive hegemony of the educated middle-classes, which frames environmental issues in ways that render invisible the concerns of marginalized communities and work- ers. In this paper, I present an activist ethnography and case study of Love Leitrim, a community group that played a crucial role in the successful Irish movement to resist fracking. I suggest that local environmental justice struggles point to the possibility of a ‘liberation environmentality’ (Fletcher. Environmentality unbound: multiple governmentalities in envi- ronmental politics, Geoforum, 2017;85, 311–315); which challenges capi- talist modes of environmental governance that facilitate the exploitation of the environment for capital accumulation. The paper identifies how a combination of (i) relational local organizing; (ii) trans-local networking with other frontline communities and (iii) creative political engagement enabled campaigners to organize collectively around the environment, navigate power asymmetries and secure political change across spatial scales. I conclude by suggesting that Love Leitrim’s frontline community struggle offers important insights for community development workers who wish to address the environment as a political issue and play a role in bringing about a just transition for marginalized communities and workers.

    Item Type: Article
    Keywords: Rooting; reaching; insights; Love Leitrim; successful resistance; fracking; Ireland;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Social Sciences > Applied Social Studies
    Item ID: 15383
    Identification Number:
    Depositing User: Jamie Gorman
    Date Deposited: 01 Feb 2022 12:10
    Journal or Publication Title: Community Development Journal
    Publisher: Oxford University Press
    Refereed: Yes
    Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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