The dynamics of the contemporary governance of the world’s food supply and the challenges of policy redirection

New paper out written by Dr. David Barling (Centre for Food Policy, City University) and me.

Unfortunately not open source but can be accessed here if your library has access: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12571-015-0429-x

The dynamics of the contemporary governance of the world’s food supply and the challenges of policy redirection

Abstract

This paper identifies the governance dynamics and the international policy architecture that frame contemporary policy actions in relation to the food supply and elaborates on key governance tensions that policy makers need to address to feed the world’s growing population by the mid-21st century. Two main dimensions of governance are examined: the international policy space, composed of nation states collaborating through international regimes with other international actors; and the private corporate led governance of the food supply. At the international levels, policy discontinuities and gaps are identified, for example between international environmental regimes and food security institutions. The so-called Washington Consensus has given way to a post Washington divergence of policy approaches amongst states, reflecting the “varieties of capitalism” thesis, and a more multi-polar international policy space over food and agriculture. In the past decade, policy makers have engaged industry in the international pursuit of sustainability, with a focus on policy actions around achieving sustainable consumption and production of food. The resulting contemporary governance trajectories are providing a disjointed but widespread set of policy guidelines with some evidence of convergence. These governance forms are helping to shape the terms of debate but the reliance on industry mediated food sustainability will need to be augmented by stronger political leadership from the individual nation states. Policy advances will need to build on the more collaborative and inclusive forms of governance that are being put in place, and continue to improve the balance of sustainable production and consumption of food.

Global Food Security Governance: Civil society engagement in the reformed Committee on World Food Security

I am most excited that my book Global Food Security Governance: Civil society engagement in the reformed Committee on World Food Security is now available for pre-order!

It is part of the  Routledge Studies in Food, Society and the Environment

It is not exactly priced for accessibility so I encourage you to request your library to order it instead. That way you can access it for free!

You can do that at this using this link and click on “Recommend to Librarian”.

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Some reviews:

“In Global Food Security Governance, Jessica Duncan provides a timely and thoughtful analysis of the recent reform of the Committee on World Food Security and its evolving role in international policy-making on issues of hunger and nutrition. Both empirically rich and theoretically grounded, the book highlights the central role of civil society in reshaping food security governance and assesses the challenges facing the CFS as its work moves forward.”Jennifer Clapp, Canada Research Chair in Global Food Security and Sustainability, University of Waterloo, Canada.

“The Committee on World Food Security inaugurates a new breed of global governance: one in which civil society co-design institutions with governments. This is a superb assessment of this transformative moment.”Olivier De Schutter, United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right to food (2008-2014).

“The inadequacies of the world’s food system became only too clear when the banking crisis unfolded in 2007. Prices went volatile; hunger rose; politicians floundered. In this book, Jessica Duncan gives a wonderful account of the pressures in, on and around the UN’s Committee on Food Security, reformed as a result. The account she gives us both celebrates democratic attempts to make the food system more accountable, and points to tensions which remain. It’s a great read with sober messages.” – Tim Lang, Professor of Food Policy, Centre for Food Policy, City University London , UK.

“With global food security emerging as one of the issues of the twenty-first century it is essential that obstacles to improved food access be identified and addressed. In her timely and engaging account of the Committee on World Food Security, Jessica Duncan reveals how powerful global actors are undermining the Committee’s attempts to develop and pursue progressive policies aimed at assisting the world’s hungry. Importantly, she also demonstrates how civil society is confronting global neoliberalism and – through the Committee on World Food Security – is helping to create a new framework for improved food security governance. This illuminating and very well-documented book is a ‘must read’ for those who are hoping for, and working toward, a fairer, more food-secure world.”Geoffrey Lawrence, Professor Emeritus of Sociology, The University of Queensland, Australia and President of the International Rural Sociology Association.

“The role of civil society organizations and system relationships surrounding participatory organic nutrient waste cycling

foodgovernance:

Results from one of the MSc projetcs I supervised: neat stuff.

Originally posted on Rural Sociology Group Wageningen University:

Laura Cerrato recently completed her M.Sc thesis entitled “The role of civil society organizations and system relationships surrounding participatory organic nutrient waste cycling.” The following post is a summary of her case study evaluation of the urban De Zuiderhof Voelkstuin community composting initiative (Compoststraat) and its relationship to the city of Rotterdam and the Netherlands.

De Zuiderhof allotment De Zuiderhof allotment

Examples of urban agriculture at the De Zuiderhof allotment garden in Rotterdam. Examples of urban agriculture at the De Zuiderhof allotment garden in Rotterdam.

View original 739 more words

How to feed 9 billion people without wrecking the planet?

I am moving WAY out of my comfort zone by presenting a Pecha Kucha (20 slides  shown for 20 seconds each) at the Eco Intensive Agriculture Conference. I will be reflecting on the “why” and “how” of integrated food security governance for sustainability transformation and talking about why we need to include socio-cultural and socio-ecological considerations in such arrangements.

Here is the Flyer.

Registration for the conference is free (click here)!

Towards eco-intensive agriculture

Another call for papers: Post-neoliberal food transitions

We are looking for papers for a session at the XXVI European Society for Rural Sociology Congress (http://www.esrs2015.eu/WG2 )

The session is: Post-neoliberal food transitions

 Co-conveners: Jessica Duncan [1], Damian Maye [2], Egon Noe [3], Markus Schermer [4]; Discussant: Gianluca Brunori [5]

1: Wageningen University, Netherlands; 2: University of Gloucestershire; 3: Aarhus University; 4: University of Innsbruck; 5: University of Pisa

There is growing recognition that neoliberal food system models, dominant since the late 1970s, may no longer be ‘fit-for-purpose’. In this regard, ‘business as usual’ responses are being seen as no longer able to deal with increasingly complex sets of food system pressures (e.g., climate change, peak oil, food security) and a new ‘post-neoliberal’ paradigm of food system governance is arguably starting to manifest. This paradigm recognises the need to enact more ‘radical’ changes across food system practices and is made visible through a number of new initiatives that have emerged with the aim to re-organise and re-embed food practices and markets into wider social relations. These practices span from agro-ecological approaches on the producer side and to new dietary practices on the consumer side.

From this starting point, this working group will examine recent food system practices through multiple lenses, including post-neoliberalism, transition and post-normal science. It questions:

  • How is the dominant food system developing rules, regulations and actions to respond to new challenges and greater complexity?
  • Which types of niche activities are emerging to support a transition towards food-related practices that are more just and sustainable?
  • How do neoliberal arguments such as individual responsibility, local substitutions to former welfare state schemes, or the replacement of public by private regulations correspond to arguments focused on civic virtues like fairness and solidarity?

This session will bring together researchers from across the social sciences to present and interrogate a range of food-related transitions. We invite the submission of abstracts that engage with one or more of the following themes:

  • (Post)neoliberal food systems and discourses
  • Post-normal science and food chains
  • Theories of innovation, complexity, social practice, resilience, transition
  • Methodologies for assessing food chain performance
  • Food system transitions in rural, urban and/or rural-urban contexts
  • Global, national, regional and local food chain dynamics
  • Sustainable intensification
  • Sustainable diet
  • Agro-ecology, food sovereignty, smallholders, family farms
  • Territorial agri-food initiatives
  • New partnerships and governance arrangements between food chain actors
  • Arguments and visions endorsed by stakeholders in “transition arenas”

Participants are asked to reflect on whether these practices and models are compatible with the neoliberal ordering of the mainstream food system, whether they can, and should, exist alongside or in opposition to the current ordering, or have the potential to alter it substantially.

Call for Papers! Cross-Disciplinary Issues for Food Governance: Challenges and Opportunities

We are now looking for papers for a Session on Cross-Disciplinary Issues for Food Governance: Challenges and Opportunities for the ECPR General Conference 2015, Montreal

INFO HERE: http://ecpr.eu/Events/SectionDetails.aspx?SectionID=423&EventID=94 

Section Chair Gerard Breeman & Section Co-Chair Jessica Duncan
Wageningen University and Research Center
Keywords
Development, Environmental Policy, Global, Governance, Public Administration, Public Policy
Abstract
The call for more integrated food policy and governance arrangements, away from a mono-disciplinary focus on agricultural, international development, environment health is increasing alongside recognition of the need to address the complexity of food systems. As such, policies that integrate nutrition and public health, agriculture, environment, ethics and social justice, trade, ecology, spatial planning, climate change, water management, and energy are needed.

Yet, the interconnectedness of relevant policy domains means that food represents a policy challenge as well as a governance challenge at multiple levels (i.e., local, national, international, multinational) and scales (from global discussion about food security and supply, to local water management; from acute problems to looming catastrophes). All these linkages and cross-overs pose challenges to state actors, civil society, and the private sector. There is a need to setup cross-boundary governance arrangements between traditional institutions and administrative competences, but also expand analysis of possible gaps between institutions, deadlocks, miscommunication or the lack of coordination.

In this section we explore a variety of issues that arise when working towards integrated food policies. We welcome paper proposals that analyse cross-policy and governance issues related to food and agriculture.

We propose the following panels:

1. Governing food policy at the nexus: Jessica Duncan (Wageningen University) and Gerard Breeman, (Wageningen University)

A scientifically-framed nexus of threats, marked by a perfect storm of environmental challenges, has recently attracted attention across in global governance regimes. There has been widespread agreement on the need for greater coordination and coherence in governance arrangement to address these challenges, but integration has been weak in practice. This panel seeks papers that interrogate the governance environment and identify the challenges and opportunities at the intersection of food security, energy, finance, natural resources and climate change governance.

2. Changes and transformations in global coordination for food security: Matthieu Brun (IDDRI) and Sébastien Treyer (IDDRI Science Po)

The 2008/2009 food price crisis highlighted an urgent need for a global coordination on food security. There have been initiatives to coherently define food security as a global public good or a global commons. Since the food crisis the fragmented global governance of food security has seen institutional and procedural changes. Nation States claims that food security is a matter of sovereignty, are questioned by various stakeholders, emerging initiatives, and new partnerships. Civil Society Organisations have gained space through the development of inclusive approaches in global governance and are investing in different political arenas to promote their vision to achieve food security and establish inclusive agricultural at regional and national levels. Transnational corporations and private sector are expected to play a key role in the development agenda, especially in agriculture. This panel aims at analysing transformations in the food security governance; the emerging arrangements, their accountability mechanisms, and the new power relations resulting from such changes and the opportunities to rethink food systems in relation to issues such as climate change, sustainable development, and the financial crisis.

3. Food System Governance: Katrien Termeer (Wageningen University) and John Ingram (Oxford University)

Much of the food security debate used to centre on food production and developing countries. Scholars and policymakers, however increasingly request a broader and more integrated approach. The food system concept for instance, aims to understand the interconnected relationships between: various activities ; various food security outcomes , various scales, and various socio-economic and environmental constraints and impacts. This broader perspective enhances new governance challenges, due in part, to the inherent fragmented institutional structure of the food system, characterized by predefined jurisdictional scales, compartmentalisation of policy domains and separated public and private spheres. The current governance institutions strengthen the food system but they also hinder it, because there are too few linkages, the short term dominates the long term; or they provide too little flexibility. Governance arrangements are challenged to cross these historically entrenched institutional boundaries, that allocate power relationships and resources, and that represent dominant beliefs, roles and rules. We welcome theoretical papers contributing to the understanding of food system governance, and empirical papers (from developing and developed countries) that analyse promising governance arrangements based on a food system perspective.

4. Challenges in Food Governance: Carsten Daugbjerg (The Australian National University and Grace Skogstad (University of Toronto)

Previously, governing food and agriculture was for insiders who were policy experts and represented the industry or the government. Agricultural policy focussed on maintaining farm incomes and ensuring the viability of the farm industry. Food regulation was aimed at ensuring consumers safe food. Over the last three decades, multiple dimensions have been added to food and agricultural policies so that the latter now interlink with policy domains such as trade, development, biotechnology, energy, environment, and ethical consumer concerns. The multi-dimensionality of agriculture and food policy has brought new actors and interests into agri-food policy making, challenging existing governance structures. This panel examines the ability of existing theories of governance and public policy to explain the consequence of these challenges for changes in food governance.

5. The aftermath of the food price crises: implications for food governance: Jeroen Candel (Wageningen University)

The food price crises of 2007/2008 and 2010 led to political attention to food systems in general, and food security in particular. Although food prices have not (yet) subsided to previous levels and food security still plays an important role in policy and scholarly discussions, have the spikes resulted in any structural changes regarding the governance of food security. This panel seeks to understand recent developments in the governance of food security and food systems. We welcome papers that empirically analyze and discuss change and continuity of governance systems, institutions, policies, policy instruments, and/or political leadership in the aftermath of the food price crises. Comparative studies are particularly welcomed.

Culture(s) in Sustainable Futures: theories, policies, practices  

CALL FOR PAPERS: International Transdisciplinary Conference

 Culture(s) in Sustainable Futures:theories, policies, practices

 May 6-8, 2015 | Helsinki, Finland

Is culture the fourth pillar of sustainability alongside the ecological, economic and social aspects? How does culture act as a catalyst for ecological sustainability, human well-being and economic viability?  What would our futures look like if sustainability was embedded in the multiple dimensions of culture?

This landmark conference explores the roles and meanings of culture in sustainable development. The new ideas generated in the conference will inform and advance understandings of sustainability with cultural studies and practices, and vice versa. The invited speakers of the conference are internationally well-known scholars and actors in this field: http://www.culturalsustainability.eu/helsinki2015/speakers

Call For Papers open October 20 to December 5, 2014

We invite proposals for paper presentations in 19 sessions within the following four thematic streams:

THEORIES, CONCEPTUAL APPROACHES AND METHODOLOGIES

  • Linking cultural and natural: Cultural ecosystem services, biocultural diversity, capabilities
  • Framing culture(s) in sustainable development: Breaking the boundaries
  • Developing assessment tools for measuring culture in sustainable development: Theoretical and practical approaches
  • Landscape as heritage: A central idea for the role of culture in sustainability?
  • The role of participative and perceptive maps in building and preserving sustainable culture(s)

INCORPORATING CULTURE IN SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT POLICIES

  • Operationalizing culture in the sustainable development of cities
  • Culture and politics of development: Ethical challenges
  • Cultural and creative industries and sustainable development: Miracle or myth?
  • The role of cultural policy/ies in sustainable development
  • Governing cultural heritage – Governing the future? The role of cultural heritage in sustainable development

CULTURAL AND ECOLOGICAL TRANSITIONS AND TRANSFORMATIONS

  • Values in place: The interior dimension of sustainability
  • Local movements in sustainable transitions
  • Local museums and heritage sites: What roles in community transitions?
  • The roles of design in the quest for sustainable futures
  • Cultures of using and disposing

CRAFTING AND GRAFTING URBAN AND RURAL ENVIRONMENTS

  • The nature-culture nexus for more sustainable and just protected areas
  • Strategic gardening: Mobilizing cultural aspects of gardening in sustainable development
  • The transformative potential of cultural and artistic endeavours for sustainable rural futures
  • Artistic urban interventions: A sustainable urban heritage?

For further information about the individual sessions within these thematic streams, please see:
http://www.culturalsustainability.eu/helsinki2015/sessions-1

Proposals from all disciplines will be considered, provided they make an original academic contribution to the study of culture and sustainability and explicitly analyse multiple dimensions of culture in sustainable development. The abstracts (250-300 words) should be submitted through an online submission system.

SEE ALSO:

  • Call for transdisciplinary panels for debates on a specific theme among scientists, policymakers, and practitioners.
  • Call for contributions for posters, artistic expressions and performances to explore the relationship between culture and sustainability through different presentational forms, employing the methods of science and/or arts.

For further information, please see:
http://www.culturalsustainability.eu/helsinki2015/Call-for-proposals

Selected full papers and other contributions will be published in conference proceedings and in a book within the recently launched book series “Routledge Studies in Culture and Sustainable Development.”

The conference is organised by the COST Action “Investigating Cultural Sustainability” (www.culturalsustainability.eu) and hosted by the University of Jyväskylä, Department of Social Sciences and Philosophy.

Submit your proposal and join the dialogue!