Reading for difference’ with Payments for Ecosystem Services in Wales

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This paper critically engages with ongoing concerns surrounding the neoliberalization of nature, through a focus upon emerging environmental schemes in Wales, offering payments for ecosystem services. Here, neoliberal directives are clearly evident in the discourses of the Welsh Government and policy advisors, through the reframing of the environment as a source of saleable goods and services. However, it is argued that gaps can be found within this seeming consensus, by following Gibson–Graham’s imperative to ‘read for difference’ within political–economic practice. Specifically, by exploring the everyday knowledge and practices of land managers who are being asked to deliver ecosystem goods and services, a more pluralistic reading begins to emerge. Hence, it is argued that the existence of such ‘cracks’ within an otherwise apparently extant hegemony need to be taken seriously, in order to unsettle the otherwise unquestioned suitability of a neoliberal model of environmental governance
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)148-164
JournalCritical Policy Studies
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 10 Mar 2014

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