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Feral bo(a)rderlands: living with and governing wild boar in the Forest of Dean.

O'Mahony, Kieran ORCID: 2019. Feral bo(a)rderlands: living with and governing wild boar in the Forest of Dean. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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This thesis explores the feral rewilding of wild boar in the Forest of Dean, England. Bringing together the generative concepts of ferality and bo(a)rderlands, I show how places, practices and politics have been multifariously churned by their (re)introduction. By undertaking an empirically rich ethnography and paying attention to a range of human-nonhuman relations, the fluid presence of wild boar, their agency, and the ways in which they blur spatial and moral (b)orders are brought to the fore. This contributes to critical literature on rewilding by, firstly, expanding its focus beyond the spaces of official practice and bringing it into conversation with matters relating to biosecurity, wildlife management and risk; and, secondly, by providing an embodied and emplaced piece of research. Working broadly with post-structural approaches that emphasise movement, practices and relationality, I show how the spatial-temporal rhythms of wild boar and their more-than-human relations generate a multiplicity of affective encounters and traces. For different human actors living in vicinity to wild boar, their sudden and unexpected presence disturb and reconfigure experiences of place, whilst for governing wildlife agencies they necessitate new practices of knowledge production and techniques of control. Both boar and humans alike are shown to negotiate one another’s presence in ways that co-produce new, though not necessarily desired, relational spaces. These differing experiences, responses, practices and lives coalesce as a complex and contested local politics which generates discord with the mechanisms of national policy. Thinking with the concept of feral bo(a)rderlands helps draw attention to the messy and uncertain relations, heterogenous agencies and multiple knowledges that are bound up within rewilding events. While revealing the tensions that run through these, the thesis also suggests ways in which these can be productive.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Date Type: Completion
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Geography and Planning (GEOPL)
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
Uncontrolled Keywords: wild boar; rewilding; biosecurity; feral; borderlands; wildlife management; place; governance; animal geography; more-than-human geography
Funders: ESRC
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 20 April 2020
Last Modified: 06 Dec 2022 02:19

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