Contested Expectations: Future Natures, Social Struggle, and Ontological Politics at the Menie Estate

Erik Jönsson

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper, not in proceeding


Viewed from one angle the establishment of Trump's Menie Estate golf resort in Aberdeenshire signals a massive investment in a rather peripheral site within the region. Menie Estate itself was previously used as a shooting estate while the land to be developed is mainly farmland and coastal sand dunes. Part of these sand dunes are however designated environmental protection as a Site of Special Scientific Interest. Hence a heated debate over the ecological significance of the development has been ongoing from the very start.
This debate in combination with the relatively little knowledge that was available concerning the dune system prior to development plans has given the ontological politics (Mol 1999) regarding the site some particular characteristics. I argue that this has bearing for which kind of landscape is to be enacted, but also for whose vision is given authority within the process, and the nature of the politics through which the landscape is to be engaged with (ie. Political or Post-political, cf. Swyngedouw 2007). Activists, politicians, and developers have struggled to fill the Menie Estate landscape with meaning largely through engagements with future visions and prognoses. In assessing the consequences and impacts of the development as well as the dynamics of the dune system the involved actors inherently relate to possible future natures. The various prognoses put forward by geologists, activists, economists, politicians, developers etc. thus form an integral part of a social struggle while social struggle in turn becomes integral to how futures are envisioned and acted upon.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusUnpublished - 2011
EventAnnual Meeting of the Association of American Geographers, 2011 - Seattle, Seattle, United States
Duration: 2011 Apr 122012 Apr 16


ConferenceAnnual Meeting of the Association of American Geographers, 2011
Abbreviated titleAAG
Country/TerritoryUnited States
Internet address

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Human Geography


Dive into the research topics of 'Contested Expectations: Future Natures, Social Struggle, and Ontological Politics at the Menie Estate'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this