Accepted Paper:

We (have to) feed the world. Promises and lock-in in agriculture  

Author:

Fanny Pellissier (IFRIS - Institut Francilien Recherche Innovation Société)

Paper short abstract:

This paper questions how this well-known promise, to feed the world, has underpinned the regime of intensive agriculture and performed concrete practices in farming routines, contributing to lock in the regime

Paper long abstract:

The creation of the European Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) is based on promises listed in the Treaty of Rome in 1958. In particular, the planned increase in agricultural productivity, for example permitted by the use of chemical inputs such as pesticides, aimed at assuring the availability of supplies at reasonable prices for consumers. The markets were to be stabilized, the standard of living of famers were to be ensured. So at first European agriculture was turned to Europe and food supply for people after war's restrictions and starvation. However, a slight move quickly occurred and the first set of objectives was almost forgotten. From providing safe and cheap food to Europe, discourses switched to the need to feed the world. From then, farming activities in Europe expected and was expected to contribute to a better and healthier world. Traces of this shift can be found in archives of agricultural magazines of the 1970's, as a response to rising environmental criticism. It contributed to re-stabilize the regime. This leitmotiv is still common in current discourses.

This paper proposes to combine the promises and sociotechnical regime approaches. Building on the particular example of the pesticides regime, it aims at understanding how a promise shapes and contributes to the (re)stabilization of the regime. It questions how this well-known promise, to feed the world, has underpinned the regime of intensive agriculture and performed concrete practices in farming routines, contributing to lock in the regime.

Panel T094
Emerging science and technology : questioning the regime of promising