Theorizing the role of civil society in policy p andree_july2011


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Theorizing the role of civil society in policy p andree_july2011

  1. 1. Theorizing the Role of Civil Society in Policy Change Monday July 18, 2011, Mount Saint Vincent University Peter Andr ée, Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, Carleton University, Ottawa
  2. 2. Question: <ul><li>Under what conditions are civil society organizations (CSOs) effective in shaping food policy? </li></ul><ul><li>2 Assumptions: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Actors with more resources tend to be more powerful on most issues </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>CSOs have an important role in achieving sustainable and just futures </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Deliberative democracy </li></ul></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Overview <ul><li>Examples from research </li></ul><ul><li>Theorizing civil society/policy interface </li></ul><ul><li>Lessons for advocacy </li></ul><ul><li>Applications in new research </li></ul>
  4. 4. Example 1: Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety (2000) <ul><ul><li>Allows states to undertake risk assessments of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) prior to importation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>States can prohibit GMOs based on risk analysis </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Can adopt the “precautionary principle” if risks are uncertain. </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. The CPB undermined the logic of “gene talk”: <ul><li>“ After all, the process works by transferring single genes, designed to do particular jobs, from one species to another. If products of these genes are harmless… it is difficult to conceive of any way in which human health might be damaged.” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The Economist, 1999 </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Key factors: <ul><li>Local, national and international advocacy networks </li></ul><ul><li>Critical scientists, social scientists and international diplomats </li></ul><ul><li>The EU regulatory system of 1990, and the GMO moratorium of 1999-2004 </li></ul><ul><li>Result: A new “common sense” of genetically-modified organisms… They are different. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>E.g. 2011 Codex Alimentarius labeling rules </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Example 2: Two Biotech Rejects <ul><li>Recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone (1999) </li></ul><ul><li>Roundup Ready Wheat (2004) </li></ul>
  8. 8. Critical Factors: <ul><li>Farmers rejection </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Losses of markets </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>New management costs/problems </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Corporate control” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Loss of support of supply chain partners </li></ul><ul><li>Academic research </li></ul><ul><li>State changed sides </li></ul><ul><li>Underlying it all: civil society building new alliances (national and international) </li></ul><ul><li>But: analysts also need to pay attention to material and institutional dynamics </li></ul>
  9. 9. Example 3: People’s Food Policy Project <ul><li>Sarah Martin’s MA Thesis: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>How to understand the emergence of “food sovereignty” discourse among Canadian food activists? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Embodied knowledge of rural/farm activists vs. “academic” understanding of urban activists </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Growing food security infrastructure and its role in food governance </li></ul></ul></ul>
  10. 10. People’s Food Policy Project (cont’d) <ul><li>Work with MA students Miranda Cobb, Austin Miller, Leanne Moussa and Emily Norgang: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Possibilities for strategic alliances to move food sovereignty agenda forward in Canada? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>National Capital Commission and urban agriculture </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Mainstream food industry and Product of Canada labeling </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Organics an opportunity for wider discussions on sustainable agriculture at federal level </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Various interests want to maintain slaughter capacity </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Maintaining but reinvigorate supply management in dairy and poultry </li></ul></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Example 4: Research on local food networks/hubs <ul><li>PI: Alison Blay-Palmer (Wilfred Laurier U) </li></ul><ul><li>150 interviews across Ontario; 120+ LFN initiatives </li></ul><ul><li>15 case studies </li></ul><ul><li>9 participatory research “interventions” </li></ul><ul><li>Some observations to date (Eastern Ontario): </li></ul><ul><ul><li>collaboration among partners (often within a community food security frame); </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>role of economic development officers (municipal); </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Gap of local food processing capacity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>CSOs have an alternative vision, but this often not translated into policy asks </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Theorizing civil society/policy interface <ul><li>First: reject 1 and 2 </li></ul><ul><li>1) </li></ul><ul><li>2) Rational Choice model </li></ul><ul><li>Problem Identification => </li></ul><ul><li>policy options => </li></ul><ul><li>Analysis => </li></ul><ul><li>selection and implementation => </li></ul><ul><li>Evaluation => </li></ul><ul><li>New problem identification => </li></ul><ul><li>etc. </li></ul>Citizens Cabinet Civil servants MPs Citizens power relations?
  13. 13. Theorizing civil society/policy interface <ul><li>Second: some definitions: </li></ul><ul><li>Civil Society: Where ‘I’ becomes ‘we’ </li></ul><ul><li>Governance: Management that involves negotiation and accommodation rather than direct control </li></ul>
  14. 14. Under what conditions are civil society organizations (CSOs) effective in shaping food policy? <ul><li>Some theoretical tools: </li></ul><ul><li>Gramsci </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Civil Society as at the centre </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Construction of new “common sense” (e.g. GMOs) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Need to understand context of existing hegemonic formation (e.g. neoliberalism) </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. Theoretical tools: <ul><li>Polanyi: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Double Movement </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Embeddedness – governance as a fundamentally social process </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Foucault: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Discourse: defining what is and is not possible at a given moment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Resistance </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. Gramsci: Social change depends on the balance of “relations of force” at a given historical moment Ideas (Ideologies, discourses, norms) Organization (including institutions) Material Capabilities (economic relations)
  17. 17. E.g. What it took to establish neo-liberal globalization: Outcome: neo-liberal globalization Ideas (e.g. liberalism) Institutions (e.g. WTO, World Bank) Material Capabilities (e.g. interests of transnational corporations)
  18. 18. Alternative realities take the same work: <ul><li>Alliance building across all three fronts </li></ul><ul><li>New ideas as “common sense” (CPB) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Use media for this </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Include materially “productive” sectors in your vision and coalition. (CPB, RR Wheat) </li></ul><ul><li>Include state institutions at some point </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ensure strength of vision first (PFPP) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>participate inside and outside formal policy-making fora (CPB) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Organic intellectuals are not just intellectuals – role of embodied knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>Strategic alliances are possible (e.g. PFPP) but co-option is too </li></ul>
  19. 19. Applications in new research projects: Example 1 <ul><li>Food for All (Ottawa) </li></ul><ul><li>PI: Elizabeth Kristjansson with Just Food Ottawa </li></ul><ul><li>Participatory action research to establish a municipal food policy </li></ul><ul><li>Phase III: Coalition building </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Start with low hanging fruit? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>A few of the 15 community-researched policy proposals: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Towards a Breastfeeding Friendly Ottawa </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Healthy School Environments </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Community Gardening on Private Lands </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hens and Bees in Urban Areas </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Income and the Cost of Eating </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A Food Policy Forum for Ottawa </li></ul></ul>
  20. 20. Applications in new research projects: Example 2 <ul><li>PI: Patty Williams, MSVU </li></ul><ul><li>5 year project </li></ul><ul><li>4 “case” communities, but many other partners </li></ul><ul><li>I am co-chair of policy working group with Lynn Langille, NS Health and Wellness </li></ul><ul><li>My question: Can we help build a reflective movement for change through participatory action research? </li></ul><ul><li>Mandate of policy working group: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Help all participants make sense of bigger picture </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Increase collaboration within and across sectors </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Work with partners in participating communities and reach out to other stakeholders: farmers, fishers, Aboriginal groups and private sector </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Help develop and advance policy recs at gov’t and non-gov’t levels </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Work in a socially and culturally-sensitive way </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>See our diversity as a strength </li></ul></ul>
  21. 21. Thank you! I welcome your feedback: <ul><li>For more detail… </li></ul><ul><li>Andr ée, Peter, Miranda Cobb, Leanne Moussa and Emily Norgang. (under review). ‘Food Sovereignty and the Federal Government: Where are the openings for a shift in priorities?’ Submitted to Studies in Political Economy. </li></ul><ul><li>Martin, Sarah and Peter Andr ée. (under review). ‘Canadian Food Activists at the Neoliberal Table: Food sovereignty and the People’s Food Policy Project’. In Globalization and Food Sovereignty: Global and Local Change In the New Politics of Food. Andrée, P., Ayres, J., Bosia, M., and Massicotte, M.-J. (eds). University of Toronto Press. </li></ul><ul><li>Andr ée, Peter. 2 011. ‘Civil society and the political economy of GMO failures in Canada: A Neo-Gramscian analysis.’ Environmental Politics . 20(2): 173-191 </li></ul><ul><li>Andr ée, Peter and Lucy Sharratt. 2009. ‘Unsatisfactory democracy: Conflict over genetically-modified wheat.’ Environmental Conflict and Democracy in Canada . Edited by Laurie Adkin. Vancouver: UBC Press. pp. 16-32. </li></ul><ul><li>Andr ée, Peter. 2007. Genetically Modified Diplomacy: the global politics of Agricultural Biotechnology and the Environment . Vancouver: UBC Press. 324pp. </li></ul><ul><li>Andr ée, Peter. 2005. ‘The Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety and shifts in the discourse of precaution.’ Global Environmental Politics 5(4): 25-46 </li></ul>