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    ABSTRACT: From RACs to Advisory Councils analyses the discourse of stakeholders engaged in Europe׳s Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) in a tier of governance known as RACs (Regional Advisory Councils) from 2004 to 2008. The analysis demonstrates a shift towards discursive sharing by participating stakeholders. This fostered inclusion but did not effect a redistribution of the power held by Europe׳s inter-governmental institutions. This more substantive change would require more, and more consistent, discursive consensus from stakeholders. With a reformed CFP for 2014, this paper considers the possibility of a future in which regional stakeholder-based fisheries governance becomes a reality.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2014 · Marine Policy
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    ABSTRACT: This paper investigates contemporary academic accounts of the public sphere. In particular, it takes stock of post-Habermasian public sphere scholarship, and acknowledges a lively and variegated debate concerning the multiple ways in which individuals engage in contemporary political affairs. A critical eye is cast over a range of key insights which have come to establish the parameters of what 'counts' as a/the public sphere, who can be involved, and where and how communicative networks are established. This opens up the conceptual space for re-imagining a/the public sphere as an assemblage. Making use of recent developments in Deleuzian-inspired assemblage theory - most especially drawn from DeLanda's (2006) 'new philosophy of society' - the paper sets out an alternative perspective on the notion of the public sphere, and regards it as a space of connectivity brought into being through a contingent and heterogeneous assemblage of discursive, visual and performative practices. This is mapped out with reference to the cultural politics of roadside memorialization. However, a/the public sphere as an assemblage is not simply a 'social construction' brought into being through a logic of connectivity, but is an emergent and ephemeral space which reflexively nurtures and assembles the cultural politics (and political cultures) of which it is an integral part. The discussion concludes, then, with a consideration of the contribution of assemblage theory to public sphere studies. (Also see Campbell 2009a).
    No preview · Article · Sep 2013 · British Journal of Sociology
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    ABSTRACT: The lower Muge valley, a tributary of the lower Tagus River (Portugal), features an important archaeological record of Mesolithic shell midden sites. Archaeological research has long assumed that tidally influenced valley floor environments in the immediate locality of the sites provided a rich food resource, attracting Mesolithic settlement. To date there has been little attempt to use palaeoenvironmental records to reconstruct Holocene floodplain evolution in the Lower Tagus valley. The cultivated freshwater lower Muge floodplain is locally underlain by ∼11 m of homogeneous fine-grained sediments and peat, comprising buried floodplain environments contemporary with Mesolithic occupation (∼6200–4800 cal BC). Pollen and foraminifera analyses demonstrate that fine-grained deposition, forced by sea-level rise, commenced ∼6200 cal BC in an estuarine setting. The lower Muge floodplain experienced maximum tidal influence ∼5800–5500 cal BC. Subsequently, sediment supply rates overtook the decreasing rate of sea-level rise and fluvial environments expanded. The pollen record may suggest regional desiccation from ∼5000 cal BC. Estuarine environments disappeared suddenly ∼3800 cal BC when freshwater wetlands were established. Although the initiation of Mesolithic settlement is shown to coincide with the beginning of tidal influence, site abandonment does not match with any major environmental change. Sea-level still stand (∼2600 cal BC) has been linked to valley floor stabilisation and soil formation. Alder floodplain woodland developed prior to ∼230 cal BC and was cleared, probably during Roman times, for agriculture. Renewed deposition after ∼230 cal BC may relate to internal mechanisms or to human impact upon the catchment vegetation.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2013 · Quaternary International
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