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Destiny’s Wild: Power and the News Media Discourses of Rewilding Tourism in the Republic of Ireland and the United Kingdom

Abstract
Rewilding is an increasingly popular strategy to address biodiversity loss and environmental degradation, with nature-based tourism controversially presented as an economic justification. With the role of humans in rewilding unclear, how rewilding tourism is discussed by the news media can influence readers’ attitudes and behaviours, and affect whether nature is protected or exploited. Foucauldian and socialist ecofeminist theories are integrated into a multi-level discourse analysis of 35 online news media articles (2017-2022) from 8 trusted news outlets in the Republic of Ireland and the United Kingdom. This study reveals how interrelated mechanisms of power across society come to define the human-nature relationship and govern the attitudes and behaviour of the general public towards rewilding tourism. The knowledge I produce makes a theoretical and practical contribution to our understanding of how tourism discourses influence rewilding's practical role in supporting biodiversity and environmental restoration.
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