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Politicizing food security governance through participation: opportunities and opposition

Authors
  • Duncan, Jessica1
  • Claeys, Priscilla2
  • 1 Wageningen University, Rural Sociology Group, Wageningen, The Netherlands , Wageningen (Netherlands)
  • 2 Coventry University, Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience (CAWR), Coventry, UK , Coventry (United Kingdom)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Food Security
Publisher
Springer Netherlands
Publication Date
Nov 26, 2018
Volume
10
Issue
6
Pages
1411–1424
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1007/s12571-018-0852-x
Source
Springer Nature
Keywords
License
Green

Abstract

Since the 2007/08 food price crisis there has been a proliferation of multi-stakeholder processes (MSPs) devoted to bringing diverse perspectives together to inform and improve food security policy. While much of the literature highlights the positive contributions to be gained from an opening-up of traditionally state-led processes, there is a strong critique emerging to show that, in many instances, MSPs have de-politicizing effects. In this paper, we scrutinize MSPs in relation to de-politicization. We argue that re-building sustainable and just food systems requires alternative visions that can best be made visible through politicized policy processes. Focusing on three key conditions of politicization, we examine the UN Committee on World Food Security as a MSP where we see a process of politicization playing out through the endorsement of the ‘most-affected’ principle, which is in turn being actively contested by traditionally powerful actors. We conclude that there is a need to implement and reinforce mechanisms that deliberately politicize participation in MSPs, notably by clearly distinguishing between states and other stakeholders, as well as between categories of non-state actors.

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