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    A Forest of Contradictions: Producing the Landscapes of the Scottish Highlands

    Fraser, Alistair (2003) A Forest of Contradictions: Producing the Landscapes of the Scottish Highlands. Antipode, 35. pp. 95-118. ISSN 0066-4812

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    While total global forest cover is decreasing, in many parts of the world forests are on the rebound. Uncritical examinations of this phenomenon credit the benign diffusion of capitalist development for this “forest transition.” More critical readings of this question—including green Marxian and poststructuralist approaches—might conclude something very different, however. In this paper, we explore the question of expanding forest cover, using the case of the Scottish Highlands, where forestland has tripled since the 1920s, in an attempt to critically explain regional land-cover change. Drawing upon historical sources and Scottish Executive and Forestry Commission data, we examine the specific environments currently forming in the Highlands under conditions of economic change. We conclude that two divergent forestry practices and ecologies have been formed in the wake of economic restructuring: those geared towards industrial production and those targeted at consumption through ecotourism. We conclude, therefore, that capitalism’s spatial fix to declining industrial power in the region is an inherently ecological one that takes the form of “schizophrenic forestry,” in which forest expansion leads to the rise of degraded monocultures alongside “pristine” sites of conservation.

    Item Type: Article
    Keywords: Forest; Contradictions; Landscapes; Scottish Highlands;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Social Sciences > Geography
    Item ID: 8800
    Depositing User: Alistair Fraser
    Date Deposited: 12 Sep 2017 11:52
    Journal or Publication Title: Antipode
    Publisher: Wiley
    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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