GEM-DIAMOND doctoral fellow
ESR 17 – Political Narratives and EU Legitimization: Between Unity and Dissensus
Adalgisa is a Marie Skłodowska Curie Fellow at the Université libre de Bruxelles. Her research interests are European agri-food policies, relevant funding schemes and local knowledge management.
The political narrative of Food Sovereignty: an instrument for European legitimation
- François Foret
Nowadays, much of the attention lies in understanding how these changes have impacted the political discourse within the EU and how it is inflaming the political debate at the national level. However, there is a significant gap on how this shifting paradigm is impacting the European agri-food sector, its policies and how the EU is responding to these evolving dynamics. This research proposal aims to demonstrate the transformative power of values in the agri-food sector. This power acts by shaping the decision making process as well as widespread political narratives and ideas. In years, the broadening of the European agricultural agenda called for regional, national and global actors to interact to solve new policy issues, despite being based upon different and, often conflicting, values.
The permacrisis decade has exposed the vulnerabilities of the European agri-food arena, thus gradually enlarging the EU agenda’s scope from the agricultural sector to a broader food system (IPES Food, 2019). At the current stage, many narratives may explain the changes in the modus operandi of the EU, something that already shows the pervasive shifting paradigm - from neoliberalism to neo-isolationism - taking now place in terms of food sovereignty. Food sovereignty and sovereignty may reconcile, without putting at risk European cohesion and legitimacy (Csirszki, 2022). By detecting these shifting narratives, it is argued that the new European food sovereignty proposal is a tool to silence narratives of dissensus over the EU's role and legitimacy. Aiming at answering the societal dissensus, the Commission’s response seems to switch from a performance rather than to compliance-based approach to the governance of the CAP, thus ensuring more flexibility to Member States (Blandford, 2019).
For this reason, the interplay in the agri-food sector is highly political and its pivotal role will determine the European raison d’etre in the next decade. As such, it deserves being duly investigated also for its consequences on the European Union project. Indeed, the food sovereignty agenda should be considered an example of striking success to reconcile Member States commitment to the European Union while gathering widespread support from civil society.
Personal Research Bibliography (So Far)
Belinska, Yanina, et al. «EU Agricultural Policy and Its Role in Smoothing the Sustainable Development of the EU’s Agricultural Areas». IOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science, vol. 628, fasc. 1, Gennaio 2021, p. 012030. Institute of Physics, https://doi.org/10.1088/1755-1315/628/1/012030.
Blandford, David, e Alan Matthews. «EU and US Agricultural Policies: Commonalities and Contrasts». EuroChoices, vol. 18, fasc. 1, Aprile 2019, pp. 4–10, https://doi.org/10.1111/1746-692X.12217.
Bodnár, Katalin, and Tobias Schuler. «The Surge in Euro Area Food Inflation and the Impact of the Russia-Ukraine War». European Central Bank, June 2022, https://www.ecb.europa.eu/pub/economic-bulletin/focus/2022/html/ecb.ebbox202204_06~4e32074619.en.html.
Brunsø, Karen, et al. «Testing Relationships between Values and Food-Related Lifestyle: Results from Two European Countries». Appetite, vol. 43, no. 2, Oct. 2004, pp. 195–205. ScienceDirect, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.appet.2004.05.001.
Carstensen, Martin B., and Vivien A. Schmidt. «Power through, over and in Ideas: Conceptualizing Ideational Power in Discursive Institutionalism». Journal of European Public Policy, vol. 23, no. 3, Mar. 2016, pp. 318–37. DOI.org (Crossref), https://doi.org/10.1080/13501763.2015.1115534.
Csirszki, Martin Milán. «Is There Room for Food Sovereignty Considerations in EU Competition Policy? A Theoretical Framework». Croatian Yearbook of European Law and Policy, vol. 18, Giugno 2022, p. 83−106-83−106, https://www.cyelp.com/index.php/cyelp/article/view/468.
Daugbjerg, Carsten, e Alan Swinbank. «An Introduction to the ‘New’ Politics of Agriculture and Food». Policy and Society, vol. 31, fasc. 4, Novembre 2012, pp. 259–70. DOI.org (Crossref), https://doi.org/10.1016/j.polsoc.2012.10.002.
European Economic and Social Committee (May 2023), «EU Food Sovereignty: The Role of Agriculture, Fisheries and Consumers», https://www.eesc.europa.eu/en/agenda/our-events/events/eu-food-sovereignty-role-agriculture-fisheries-and-consumers
«Europe Swings Right — and Reshapes the EU». POLITICO, 30 Giugno 2023, https://www.politico.eu/article/far-right-giorgia-meloni-europe-swings-right-and-reshapes-the-eu/.
F.A.O. (2004), «Voluntary Guidelines to support the progressive realization of the right to adequate food in the context of national food security»..
Ferrera, Maurizio, et al. «Maintaining the EU’s Compound Polity during the Long Crisis Decade». Journal of European Public Policy, Gennaio 2023, pp. 1–23. DOI.org (Crossref), https://doi.org/10.1080/13501763.2023.2165698.
Foote Natasha. «Commission Warns against Shift towards Protectionism in Agri-Food Sector». Euractiv press release, 23 April 2020, https://www.euractiv.com/section/agriculture-food/news/commission-warns-against-shift-towards-protectionism-in-agri-food-sector/.
Galli, Francesca, et al. «How can policy processes remove barriers to sustainable food systems in Europe? Contributing to a policy framework for agri-food transitions». Food Policy, vol. 96, Ottobre 2020, p. 101871. ScienceDirect, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foodpol.2020.101871.
Gorzelak, Aleksander, et al. Controversies Over the European Value Added Created by CAP. 2017. Social Science Research Network, https://papers.ssrn.com/abstract=2929458.
Gray, John. «The Common Agricultural Policy and the Re-Invention of the Rural in the European Community». Sociologia Ruralis, vol. 40, no. 1, Jan. 2000, pp. 30–52. DOI.org (Crossref), https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-9523.00130.
IPES Food (2019), «Towards a common food policy for the European Union. The policy reform and realignment that is required to build sustainable food systems in Europe». http://www.ipes-food.org/_img/upload/files/CFP_FullReport.pdf (accessed 7 September 2023)
McMichael, Philip, e Mindi Schneider. «Food Security Politics and the Millennium Development Goals». Third World Quarterly, vol. 32, fasc. 1, 2011, pp. 119–39. JSTOR, https://www.jstor.org/stable/41059770.
McMichael, Philip. «Food System Sustainability: Questions of Environmental Governance in the New World (Dis)Order». Global Environmental Change, vol. 21, fasc. 3, agosto 2011, pp. 804–12. DOI.org (Crossref), https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2011.03.016.
Patel, R., «International Agrarian Restructuring and the Practical Ethics of Peasant Movement Solidarity». Journal of Asian and African Studies, vol. 41, no. 1/2, 2006, pp.71–93.
Sahakyan, Mher. «Multipolar World Order 2.0 and Colliding Interests in Ukraine: Russia, the EU, the US and China». 30 marzo 2023. Social Science Research Network, https://papers.ssrn.com/abstract=4411981.
Sheingate, Adam D. «Agricultural Retrenchment Revisited: Issue Definition and Venue Change in the United States and European Union». Governance, vol. 13, no. 3, Apr. 2000, pp. 335–63. DOI.org (Crossref), https://doi.org/10.1111/0952-1895.00137.
Theresa, Kuhn. «Grand theories of European integration revisited: does identity politics shape the course of European integration?», Journal of European Public Policy, vol. 26, no. 8, 2019, pp. 1213-1230, https://doi.org/10.1080/13501763.2019.1622588.
Tosun, Jale. «Party Support for Post-Exceptionalism in Agri-Food Politics and Policy: Germany and the United Kingdom Compared». Transforming Food and Agricultural Policy, Routledge, 2018.
Zuleeg, Fabian, Janis A. Emmanouilidis, Ricardo Borges de Castro (2021), «Europe in the age of permacrisis», Brussels: European Policy Centre.
Wittman, Hannah. «Food Sovereignty: A New Rights Framework for Food and Nature?» Environment and Society, vol. 2, fasc. 1, Settembre 2011, pp. 87–105,, https://doi.org/10.3167/ares.2011.020106.
She holds a MA in International Affairs and a BA in International and Diplomatic Sciences from University of Bologna. During her academic career, she studied in France at ESSCA Business School, at KU-Leuven and finalised her research thesis abroad in Pennsylvania at Dickinson College. Thanks to her research interest on EU agri-food policies, European funding schemes and local knowledge management in the agricultural sector, she worked as Research Assistant at Farm Europe - Brussels based Think Tank. Previously, she was a Junior European Project Manager at NGO Alphabet Formation and a MAECI CRUI trainee for the Italian Embassy in Kenya.
Adalgisa holds the America Giovani Award issued by the Italian Government (2022) to reward the best students for their academic talent and curriculum.
‘Sustainability’: key-word of the economic partnership agreement EU-Kenya, Institute for International Relations Analysis, July 2023. https://iari.site/2023/07/24/sustainability-key-word-of-the-economic-partnership-agreement-eu-kenya/
Il caldo registrato in luglio 2023 desta scalpore, eppure non dovrebbe, Institute for International Relations Analysis, August 2023. https://iari.site/2023/08/30/il-caldo-registrato-in-luglio-2023-desta-scalpore-eppure-non-dovrebbe/
Il cambiamento climatico: l’urgenza delle azioni arriva da vari fronti, Institute for International Relations Analysis, June 2023. https://iari.site/2023/06/10/il-cambiamento-climatico-lurgenza-delle-azioni-arriva-da-vari-fronti/
Il nuovo accordo sulla protezione degli oceani, Institute for International Relations Analysis, April 2023. https://iari.site/2023/04/08/il-nuovo-accordo-sulla-protezione-degli-oceani/
The Amazon forest, is it a common good?, Institute for International Relations Analysis, March 2023. https://iari.site/2023/03/17/the-amazon-forest-is-it-a-common-good/
Destination Earth: la soluzione digitale europea al cambiamento climatico, Institute for International Relations Analysis, February 2023. https://iari.site/2023/02/19/destination-earth-la-soluzione-digiatle-europea-al-cambiamento-climatico/
Carbon tax: comparison between the British Columbia and France, Institute for International Relations Analysis, January 2023. https://iari.site/2023/01/26/carbon-tax-comparison-between-the-british-columbia-and-france/
The role of agriculture in EU-Africa relations: Kenya case-study, (2022), Master Thesis, University of Bologna, Curriculum International Affairs [LM-52] - Bologna.
Book: I can see you, edited by Paolo Lombardi, Edizione Era Nuova Publishing, November 2018