Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Call for panels on Food Governance

Together with a colleague  I am organising a section at the ECPR general conference, Montreal 2015 ( http://www.ecpr.eu/Events/EventDetails.aspx?EventID=94 )
We welcome panel and paper proposals (until 10 November  2014) that are based on the section description below.  If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me: Gerard.Breeman@wur.nl

Cross-Disciplinary Issues for Food Policy and Governance: Challenges and Opportunities
Food has proven to be a complex, even wicked, policy issue which encompasses multiple policy domains. The call for a more integrated food policy away from mono-disciplinary focus on agricultural, international development, or health is  increasing. Food policy integrates nutrition and public health, agriculture, environment, ethics and social justice, trade, ecology, spatial planning, climate change, water management, and energy and therefore needs the analysis of all policy domains involved, as well as cross-policy domain research. The interconnectedness of  relevant policy domains means that food represents a policy challenge as well as a governance challenge at all levels (i.e., local, national, international, multinational). As such, it requires not only the setup of cross-boundary governance arrangements between traditional institutions and administrative competences, but also the analysis of possible gaps between institutions, deadlocks, miscommunication and/or lack of coordination.

Food policy and governance issues cross different levels and scales: from global discussion about food security, to local water management issues; from acute problems to looming catastrophes  in the distant future. All these interconnected linkages and cross-overs pose many challenges to state actors, civil society, and the private sector.  In this section we will to explore the variety of issues that arise when working towards integrated food policies.

We welcome panel and paper proposals that analyse cross-policy and governance issues in the field of food and agriculture. We are looking for proposals that address participatory governance for food security, integrated systems approaches for food governance, local governance arrangements for sustainable food systems, or food governance in a changing geopolitical context.
Suggested panels:

Panel 1: Participatory governance and food policy
Panel 2: Governing at the Nexus
Panel 3: Integrated Systems Approaches for Food Governance/ Global Environmental Change and Food Systems
Panel 4: Future Challenges for Food Governance
Panel 5: Local governance arrangements for sustainable food systems
Panel 6: Food Governance in a Changing Geopolitical Context

Saturday, August 9, 2014

2 new articles and a book chapter 

1. The first article provides an analysis of the allocation of attention to policy problems on the local level, focusing on the executive agenda of six municipalities in the Netherlands over a 25-year period. It reveals that there is specifically a local politics of attention, showing differences between national and local policy agendas in specific policy areas. We did not find evidence that the political composition of the local executive coalitions leads to agenda differences, revealing the more problem-oriented and pragmatic nature of local politics. We did find evidence of an effect of institutional arrangements between national and local government on shifting patterns of attention, such as due to decentralisation. This shows that the local politics of attention is limited in scope and conditioned by the functions of local government and the institutional arrangements of policy making in the Dutch decentralised unitary state and that rearrangements affect these patterns of attention

Full article (login / payment required): Breeman, G, P. Scholten, and A. Timmermans (2014) Analysing Local Policy Agendas: How Dutch Municipal Executive Coalition Allocate Attention, Local Governement Studies, June 20, online first.

2. The second article analyses the principles of food safety regulation at EU level and their impact on food safety measures. It focuses on the possibilities for integrating the risk analysis methodology into the Commission’s decision making.

Full article (login/payment required): Szajkowska, A. and G. Breeman (2014) Decision-making procedures in the EU: Opening the black box of risk analysis in food saftey policy, Ars Aequi, Mei 2014: 375- 383.

3. The bookchapter analyses the correlation between Dutch coalition agreements and the governments's legislative activities. It shows that coalition agreements correlate weak in the first year to legislation, followed by 2 years of stronger correlation and, if the government stays in office long enough a weaker correlation in the fourth year. Link to the book:

Timmermans, A and G. Breeman (2014) The Policy Agenda in Multiparty Government: Coalition Agreements and Legislative Activity in the Netherlands. In: C. Green-Pedersen and S. Walgrave (eds.) Agenda Setting, Policies and Political Systems: A Comparative Approach, pp. 86-104, Chicago: Chicago University Press.