Contested expectations: Trump International Golf Links Scotland, polarised visions, and the making of the Menie Estate landscape as resource

Erik Jönsson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (SciVal)

Abstract

In initiating the development of a large-scale golf resort in Aberdeenshire, Trump International Golf Links Scotland made a relatively unknown site central to Scottish planning debates. A stretch of land along the North Sea coast north of Aberdeen became linked to new possible futures.
Part of the site developed consisted of moving sand dunes given environmental protection as a Site of Special Scientific Interest and from the onset a heated debate has concerned the transformability of these dunes. The land was simultaneously seen as perfect for a golf resort of a scale previously unseen in the UK and as sensitive land threatened by the development. Proponents asserted that future economic benefits would outweigh any environmental impact. Opponents in turn contested such expectations through asserting other variables to be counted, or questioning the possibility to control the dunes altogether. Hence, the resort’s eventual relation to sand dunes, migrating pink-footed geese and fog along the coast became political arguments.
In this article I utilise this case to illustrate how the ways futures are expressed produces both political subjects and objects in the present. I argue that a process where social struggle is conducted as the production of future scenarios posits important opportunities for public engagement while also leading to new problems. This I shed light on by bringing together Callon’s notion of performative theories with the literature on post-politics, offering a critique of expert-led environmental governance.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)226-235
JournalGeoforum
Volume52
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Human Geography

Keywords

  • Political ecology
  • Performativity
  • Environmental governance
  • Post-politics
  • Social struggle
  • Ontology

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