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Negotiating sustainability across scales: community organising in the Outer Hebrides

Bartlett, Thomas Alexander Marks ORCID: and Singh, Jaspal Naveel ORCID: 2017. Negotiating sustainability across scales: community organising in the Outer Hebrides. AILA Review 30 (1) , pp. 50-71. 10.1075/aila.00003.sin

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This paper represents voices of community organisers on Barra, a small island in the Outer Hebrides, Scotland. Although, arguably Barra is geographically and socio-politically located in the peripheries of Scotland, Britain and Europe, the island has been a centre of North Atlantic maritime trade networks for centuries. In the current phase of Europeanisation and devolution of powers within the United Kingdom, the community finds itself in the position of having to attend to multiple scales: the European Union, the United Kingdom, Scotland and the island itself with its various interest groups. We draw on ethnographic interviews with community organisers that were elicited for the research project Sustainability on the Edge to illustrate some political challenges and possibilities of such scalar realities. We show that community organisers construct a voice that emphasises a historical quality of what it means to live on Barra while inflecting this quality with worldly knowledge that enables access to resources from outside the island. Our findings remind us that centres and peripheries are neither fixed categories that could simply be mapped on geographical visualisations nor notions independent of discursive practice.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: English, Communication and Philosophy
Publisher: John Benjamins Publishing
ISSN: 1461-0213
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 5 June 2017
Date of Acceptance: 2 June 2017
Last Modified: 08 Nov 2023 01:52

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