Freedom, part-time pirates, and poo police: Regulating the heterotopic space of the recreational boat

Last modified: 
December 13, 2019 - 9:45pm
Type: Journal Article
Year of publication: 2017
Date published: 06/2017
Authors: Deanna Grant-Smith, Robyn Mayes
Journal title: Environment and Planning A
Volume: 49
Issue: 6
Pages: 1379 - 1395
ISSN: 0308-518X

At all levels of governance from international convention to local policy, the regulation of pollution from boats and ships has been steeped in conflict and subject to resistance. Recreational boaters, in particular, are often highly resistant to attempts to regulate their boating activity, particularly on environmental grounds. Such ongoing resistance poses a significant policy compliance challenge. This paper seeks to shed light on this complex, ongoing and broader field of opposition to environmental management by way of a case study analysis of resistance to on-board sewage regulations on the part of recreational boaters in Queensland, Australia. This resistance on the part of ‘everyday’ citizens is examined through the lens of heterotopia. In consequence, the paper can contribute to understandings more broadly of problems beleaguering environmental policy while also attending to the deeply implicated social roles of recreational boating spaces; namely as heterotopias of compensation and/or illusion. It also highlights how these heterotopic positionings are intensified by the scatological orientation of the policy under study.

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