2019-10-28Zeitschriftenartikel DOI: 10.18452/20772
How Shall We Judge Agri-Food Governance? Legitimacy Constructions in Food Democracy and Co-Regulation Discourses
The food democracy discourse has emerged as a normatively grounded critique of an increasingly transnational agri-food system and its dominant co-regulatory mode of governance, where private and public norms and standards interact with public policy and regulation in complex ways. Analyzing competing agri-food discourses through a legitimacy lens can contribute to understanding how authority is transferred from traditional, hierarchical and state-centered constellations to a range of novel agri-food governance arrangements. This article reconstructs and compares the legitimacy constructions articulated in the co-regulation and the food democracy discourses, generating three key findings: first, there are two distinct articulations of food democracy discourse, which we label liberal and strong food democracy; second, while conceptualizations of legitimacy in the liberal food democracy and the co-regulatory discourse share many commonalities, legitimacy in the co-regulatory discourse relies more heavily on output, while the liberal food democracy discourse is more sensitive to issues of input and throughput legitimacy; third, the strong food democracy discourse articulates a critical counter-model that emphasizes inclusive deliberation which in turn is expected to generate a shared orientation towards the common good and countervailing power.
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