Political Research Exchange

Analytical Approaches to Post-Exceptionalism in Food and Agricultural Governance

Environmental Policy
 
Globalisation
 
Governance
 
Policy Analysis
 
Climate Change
 
Section Number
S07
Section Chair
Gerard Breeman
Departments of Political Science and Public Administration, Universiteit Leiden
Section Co-Chair
Jessica Duncan
Wageningen University and Research Center

Abstract
Due to the sensitive nature of the associated public goods (food safety, health, environmental concerns), policy makers have tended to treat the food and agriculture sector with care. But does this sensitivity hinder policy reform, or does it stimulate policy innovation to address novel challenges and concerns? The section uses the concept of post-exceptionalism as a lens to analyse recent developments and trends in food policy and governance.

In the past, agriculture was considered a special economic domain in need of special care. Public policies were aimed to provide affordable food for all while farmers could obtain a steady and sufficient income. The strategic meaning of food, weather conditions and the in-elasticity of demand for agricultural products meant that farming was considered as an exceptional economic sector with exceptionalist industry support and trade policies. However, since the mid-1980s the exceptional position has increasingly come under scrutiny. The externality effects of the farm policies, such as environmental damage and trade distortions, made more people argue that agriculture should be considered an industry operating in a similar fashion to those of other industries.

The puzzle we explore in this section is how post-exceptionalism in agriculture and food policy and politics takes shape and how this phenomenon can the approached analytically and theoretically. The decompartmentalisation, interlinkage with other policy domains, politicisation, internationalisation and reframing of policy issues associated with post-exceptionalism challenge standard analytical and theoretical approaches to studying food and agricultural policy and politics. Moreover, transboundary food-system threats and structural changes in economic systems, such as natural disasters, transboundary diseases, increased migration and urbanisation, facilitate transformations towards more flexible, complex, internationalized and contested patterns of food policy and governance and further substantiate the need for new analytical approaches. This section welcomes panel proposals that study the nature and effects of recent new trends in food and agricultural policies and politics and explore and develop innovative analytical approaches. We are especially interested in the mechanisms that explain how the new food and agricultural policies are shaped and interlink with other policy domains.

Panel List

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Number 
Title 
 
P170Institutional and Ideational Approaches to Post-Exceptionalist Policy Making View Panel Details
P385The Impact of Post- Exceptionalism Between Grassroots and the European Level View Panel Details
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