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Bridging the Gap Between Integrated Food Policy Research and Practice

Policy Analysis
Public Policy
Policy Change
Kelly Parsons
City, University of London
Kelly Parsons
City, University of London

This paper fuses public policy theory on integration with insights from two empirical cross-government food policy projects – in the UK and Australia – to explore how to bridge the expectations gap between calls for stronger government leadership to join-up food policy, and a lack of capacity to do so during policy formulation. Examining how integration has been conceived and applied in the two cases, it argues the goals of more integrated food policy will not be realised without a better understanding of the different dimensions of integration. The paper links this analysis to the related goals of food policy coherence and the application of food systems thinking. Significant practical guidance for policymakers, requiring innovative approaches to bridging the policy and research communities, is also required. It therefore calls for a new, pragmatic, research agenda for integrated food policy, while discussing the implications of blurring the boundaries between academic research and politics.
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