This article explores the idea of countryside crisis in Britain. Countryside crisis is contrasted with more conventional single-issue crises because of its multi-stranded and complex character. Its main components are the contemporary problems of the farming sector, BSE/vCJD, foot-and-mouth disease, and wider issues in rural society such as social exclusion and the provision of vital services. Public opinion, the media and pressure groups all shape the form of countryside crisis. Crisis management is influenced by how policy-makers and administrators see the problems and whether the components emerge suddenly or gradually. A combination of emergency measures, long-term policy action (business as usual) and institutional/procedural change have been deployed to handle countryside crisis in Britain. The broad conclusion is that its successful handling involves a reshaping of the relationship between agriculture and the wider rural world, which requires long-term and radical change rather than emergency measures and incremental tinkering.
Greer, A. (2003). Countryside Issues: A Creeping Crisis. Parliamentary Affairs, 56(3), 523-542+ii+v. https://doi.org/10.1093/parlij/gsg104