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Book: Civic Engagement in Food System Governance - A comparative perspective of American and British local food movements

The local food movement is one of the most active of current civil engagement social movements. This work presents primary evidence from over 900 documents, interviews, and participant observations, and provides the first descriptive history of local food movement national policy achievements in the US, from 1976 to 2013, and in the UK, from 1991 to 2013, together with reviews of both the American and British local food movements. It provides a US-UK comparative context, significantly updating earlier comparisons of American, British and European farm and rural policies.

Abstract

The comparative perspective shows that, over time, more effective strategies for national policy change required social-movement building strategies, such as collaborative policy coalitions, capacity-building for smaller organizations, and policy entrepreneurship for joining together separate rural, farming, food, and health interests. In contrast, narrowly-defined single issue campaigns often undermined long-term policy change, even if short-term wins emerged. By profiling interviews of American and English movement leaders, policymakers, and funders, the book demonstrates that democratic participation in food policy is best supported when funders incentivize groups to work together and overcome their differences.

Citation

Hunt, A.R. (2015). Civic Engagement in Food System Governance: A comparative perspective of American and British local food movements. Routledge, London and New York.

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Europe is the world's second-smallest continent by surface area, covering just over 10 million square kilometres or 6.8% of the global land area, but it is the third-most populous continent after Asia and Africa, with a population of around 740 million people or about 11% of the world's population. Its climate is heavily affected by warm Atlantic currents that temper winters and summers on much of the continent. In the European Union, farmers represent only 4.7% of the working population, yet manage nearly half of its land area.

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