Publication Type: Book Chapter
Source: Workshop "How do you manage? Unravelling the situated practice of environmental management" (2012)
This paper explores the neo-liberal environmental management strategy of compensation through a comparison of two conservation conflicts in Scotland. The first of these concerns the problem of goose grazing on farmland in Islay, in which compensation has been used as a means of placating the claims of farmers about the damage to their livelihoods the geese cause. The second involves the problem of predation by raptors on grouse in the Scottish uplands. Although the legal position of raptors is not very different to the geese, there has been strong resistance from conservationists to the principle of compensation for economic losses. The comparison raises questions about what compensation is really understood as being for, how the money involved is thought about, and what effects compensation has on relations both between different people and between people and birds. It also suggests that certain claims to manage species through killing are seen as legitimate, whilst others are construed as illegitimate. When killing is seen as a legitimate course of action, as in the case of the geese, then compensation is used in preference. When killing is seen as illegitimate, as in the case of the raptors, then compensation is not seen as being a management option. The paper explores the ways in which protection is performed in Scotland through different imaginaries of species, landscapes and interest groups and how these imaginings are revealed and translated through policies, negotiations and management schemes. Policy is viewed as a script that can be performed and explored in multiple ways that in turn define the concerns of interest groups as legitimate or illegitimate, and continually make and re-make protection.