1st Edition

Contested Sustainability Discourses in the Agrifood System

    314 Pages
    by Routledge

    314 Pages 7 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    The industrial agrifood system is in crisis regarding its negative ecological, economic, and social externalities: it is unsustainable on all dimensions. This book documents and engages competing visions and contested discourses of agrifood sustainability. 

    Using an incremental/reformist to transformation/radical continuum framework for alternative agrifood movements, this book identifies tensions between competing discourses that stress food sovereignty, social justice, and fair trade and those that emphasize food security, efficiency and free trade. In particular, it highlights the role that governance processes play in sustainability transitions and the ways that power and politics affect sustainability visions and discourses.  

    The book includes chapters that review sustainability discourses at the macro and meso levels, as well as case studies from Africa, Australia, Canada, Europe, South America and the USA.

    PART I: Introduction  1. Contested Sustainability Discourses in the Agrifood System: An Overview  PART II: Framing the Contested Discourse  2. Sustainable Intensification: Agroecological Appropriation or Contestation?  3. Sustainable Intensification as a Sociotechnical Imaginary  4. Agrifood Discourses and Feeding the World: Unpacking Sustainable Intensification  5. Sustainability as the Civil Commons: Laying the Groundwork for Sustainable Agriculture  Part III: Contested Discourses in Theory and Practice  6. Zero Hunger Discourse: Neoliberal, Progressive, Reformist or Radical?  7. Greenwashing the Animal-industrial Complex: Sustainable Intensification and the Livestock Revolution  8. Are Food Quality Schemes an Alternative to the Conventional Food System? Reflections on the EU Metaphors on Agrifood Quality Regulation  9. Discourses on Sustainability in the French Farming Sector: The Redefinition of a Consensual and Knowledge-intensive "Agroecology"  10. Dueling Discourses of Sustainability: Neo-Conventional and Organic Farming on the Canadian Prairies  11. Contested Sustainability Discourses as Lived Experience: Conflicted Feelings Towards Meat in Consumers’ Narratives and Life Stories  Part IV: Contested Agrifood Governance  12. Shifting Visions of Sustainability in the United States Agriculture: A Case Study of the Role of Multi-Stakeholder Governance  13. Understanding the Challenge of Problem Definition in Multistakeholder Initiatives: Lessons from Sustainability Policy Frames in Canadian Non-State Food Strategies  14. Standardizing "Unused" Land: The Politics of Indicators in Land Classification  15. Justifying the Standardization of Sustainability Impact  Part V: Conclusion  16. Fault Lines in Sustainability: Contestation, Cooptation, Reform, and Transformation


    Douglas H. Constance is Professor of Sociology at Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, Texas, USA.

    Jason T. Konefal is Associate Professor of Sociology, at Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, Texas, USA.

    Maki Hatanaka is Associate Professor of Sociology at Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, Texas, USA.