Re-inventing food systems through agri-environmental governance?

RHN 53/2017 | Event

Organiser: New Directions in Agri-Environmental Governance. Re-assembling food, knowledge and autonomy (SNF Research project, University of Neuchâtel)

13-15 September 2017, University of Neuchâtel, Switzerland

Re-inventing food systems through agri-environmental governance?
Diversity of governance practices and everyday transformations in the food-agriculture-environment nexus

The intensification of environmental concerns over the past decades has brought into food systems a variety of governance mechanisms that transcend traditional boundaries (e.g. between the public and the private or the state and the market) and produce new combinations of governance ideas, tools and actors at various scales. This re-configuration of governance has created a polyphonic proliferation of new instruments that draw on contrasting logics and different rationalities – yet all of which are harboured within the dominant but highly contested discourse of sustainability. In these processes, assemblages of actors, human and non-human, have been transformed and reorganized, affecting arguably the whole systems in which they were embedded, and producing new relations of interdependence, identification and power. Food itself, as the central stake of the production-consumption process, has been changed. The criteria of what defines the identity of a food product are discussed and redefined within multiple spaces of dialog.

This workshop takes up the challenge of highlighting some of these transformations that unfold throughout the food system, and that impact the way actors connect with others in the production of everyday practices of agri-environmental governance. Novel theories, methods and empirical case studies shall be discussed that allow us to better grasp the entangled nature of our agri-food systems, and to make sense of changing socio-ecological assemblages and subjectivities, as interrelated elements.

The workshop is following three streams of enquiry:

1. To compare and contrast various modes of governance and examine their translation in everyday practices.

2. To address the dynamics of such practices in respect to environmental subjectivities, autonomy exertion and the creation of knowledges.

3. To discuss some of the implications that new governance practices, roles and relations have for wider transformations within agri-food systems and beyond.

Confirmed speakers:

  • Prof. Hugh Campbell, University of Otago, New Zealand
  • Prof. Terry Marsden, Cardiff University, United Kingdom
  • Prof. Katja Neves, Concordia University, Canada
  • Prof. Michael Carolan, Colorado State University, United States
  • Prof. Steven Wolf, Cornell University, United States
  • Prof. Gisela Welz, Goethe University Frankfurt, Germany
  • Dr. Angga Dwiartama, Institut Teknologi Bandung, Indonesia