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Agriculture and trade liberalisation: discourses and paradigm shifts.

Quieti, Maria Grazia 2007. Agriculture and trade liberalisation: discourses and paradigm shifts. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.

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Abstract

The negotiation and implementation of the policies proposed by the WTO Agreement on Agriculture (market access, domestic support, export subsidies and consideration of non-trade concerns), show that agriculture remains a most contentious trade issue, despite its diminishing role in the economy worldwide and its accounting for only 8% of total trade. The research has explored how the arguments behind the proposed policies become discourses and how these in turn become resources used by different actors for influencing policy formation. A heuristic framework of fora and arena has been generated enabling the organisation and interpretation of a set of heterogeneous empirical materials for discourse analysis; the organisational, technical, popular and moralising fora showing the cognitive, emotion and moral matrices of knowledge construction and the political arena being the site for public legitimation. Through the literature review and the case studies of WTO, the FAO, the European Commission and transnational civil society organisations, discourses were found on multifunctional agriculture, roles of agriculture, sustainable agricultural and rural development, food security and food sovereignty. These were formed through the theoretical resources by epistemic communities and also through discursive practices and governance arrangements. Paradigmatic shifts were found in the conceptualisation of agriculture and trade liberalisation, with convergent views on the need for national food production and local foods, the dismantling of the comparative advantage principle as a guide to policies, the association of agriculture with global public goods and the increased elaborations of the 'non-trade concerns'. The findings suggest that it is consumption and not only production issues that are driving the negotiations. They also highlight agriculture as part of a complex chain linking the physical environment and production to consumption and health on a global scale, as such in need of greater interdisciplinarity than the original economics-driven policies formulation of the Agreement on Agriculture.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Geography and Planning (GEOPL)
Subjects: S Agriculture > S Agriculture (General)
ISBN: 9781303181788
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 07 Nov 2019 09:09
URI: http://orca-mwe.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/55655

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