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Alternative Agrifood Movements and Social Change

Alternative Agrifood Movements: Patterns of Convergence and Divergence

ISBN: 978-1-78441-090-2, eISBN: 978-1-78441-089-6

Publication date: 3 December 2014


The success enjoyed by some of the alternative agrifood movements has led to a dual process: on the one hand, their mainstreaming and cooptation; while on the other hand, their institutionalization into public regulation and law. This dual process is the result of the influence these movements have had on consumers and politicians and serves to demonstrate the constant exchange between the spheres of public and private regulation, a feature that characterizes the neoliberal model of governance. In turn, this has led to the appearance of new alternative initiatives which may converge with or diverge from founding initiatives when these are the result of divisions within a movement. The question that arises here is obvious: despite these evident achievements, by working within the market and using the tools of neoliberal regulation, have these movements managed to generate the social change they intended from the outset? This chapter will attempt to answer the question by offering a reflection on two of the most widely discussed aspects of this strategy: first, the private and/or public space where these movements develop and the citizen-consumer duality of the actors to whom they appeal; and second, their ability to generate standards, norms, and certification systems, that is, their ability to establish the rules of the game.


Renard, M.-C. (2014), "Alternative Agrifood Movements and Social Change", Alternative Agrifood Movements: Patterns of Convergence and Divergence (Research in Rural Sociology and Development, Vol. 21), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 69-85.



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