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Towards a revanchist British rural in post‐COVID times? A challenge to those seeking a good countryside

Keith Halfacree Orcid Logo

The Geographical Journal

Swansea University Author: Keith Halfacree Orcid Logo

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DOI (Published version): 10.1111/geoj.12549

Abstract

The last decade has seen at least three still ongoing shocks impact strongly on rural Britain: Brexit, COVID-19 and the Russia–Ukraine war. This paper introduces all three of these after setting the scene prior to the 2016 Brexit vote by first summarising the seeming shift across rural Britain from...

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Published in: The Geographical Journal
ISSN: 0016-7398 1475-4959
Published: Wiley
Online Access: Check full text

URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa64784
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Abstract: The last decade has seen at least three still ongoing shocks impact strongly on rural Britain: Brexit, COVID-19 and the Russia–Ukraine war. This paper introduces all three of these after setting the scene prior to the 2016 Brexit vote by first summarising the seeming shift across rural Britain from productivism to post-productivism in the years after 1945. Each of the three sources of rural disruption are then described, but also argued to be building what is termed a ‘revanchist rural’. This development seeks to challenge many of the post-productivist attempts to diversify the countryside by restating a narrower conservative ‘traditional’ rural geography. It is also a rural vision largely in opposition to Mark Shucksmith's utopian Good Countryside, introduced in the final section. However, a revanchist rural is not the only option for the British countryside in 2023 and the paper goes on to note a broader revival of debate and interest in the rural in recent years. This has let loose a variety of currents, briefly noted, more in tune with the Good Countryside, such that the future for rural Britain in 2023, it is concluded, is very much still there for the making.
Keywords: Brexit, COVID, neo-productivism, rural, rural revanchism, Ukraine war
College: Faculty of Science and Engineering
Funders: Swansea University