body bg


From Pillar to Post? In search of the post-productivist countryside in Australia

  • Year: 2002
  • Author: Argent, Neil
  • Journal Name: Australian Geographer
  • Journal Number: Vol.33, No.1
  • Country: Australia

According to a growing number of commentators, the agricultural sectors and rural areas of advanced Western nations are experiencing a transition from productivism to post-productivism. In Britain and Western Europe, where this putative transition is most evident, the salient features of the shift include: the gradual removal of farm-level subsidies and related stimulatory policies; the introduction of a range of agri-environmental programs aimed at reducing agricultural commodity surpluses and halting farm-related environmental degradation; and the development of a more socially and culturally heterogeneous rural population as counter-urbanisation has brought a new stratum of residents into rural areas. This paper explores this notion in the Australian context. In analysing a wide range of data and policy documents, the paper argues that while there is some evidence of a productivist regime operating in Australia from 1945 to the early 1980s, and some more recent incipient trends consistent with a transition to a post-productivist countryside, there is much stronger evidence that the Australian farm sector and rural landscapes are being shaped by the complex interactions between the 'productivist' ideals held by farmers and key policy makers alike, and the growing environmental regulation of farming. It is concluded that while the concept of 'post-productivism' is superficially appealing, it has little practical or conceptual application to Australian conditions. Indeed, the paper argues that 'post-productivism' is fundamentally misconceived, largely owing to its inherent binary narrative form and logic.

Related Items

Implementing the Australian Business Excellence Framework: Eight Local Government Case Studies

A series of 8 detailed case studies regarding the implementation of the Australian Business...

Connecting with Communities: How Local Government is Using Social Media to Engage with Citizens

This report examines how Australian local government is adopting and using social media. Social...

Report into Local Government Private Partnerships for Asset Redevelopment

The NSW Standing Committee on Public Works undertook this inquiry to investigate why councils were...

Share this with your friends

Footer Logo

Contact Us

Level 2, 53 Blackall Street
Barton ACT 2600
Telephone: 02 6260 3733
or email us