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ERIC Number: EJ847638
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Jul
Pages: 10
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0743-0167
Contesting the Neoliberal Project for Agriculture: Productivist and Multifunctional Trajectories in the European Union and Australia
Dibden, Jacqui; Potter, Clive; Cocklin, Chris
Journal of Rural Studies, v25 n3 p299-308 Jul 2009
The liberalisation of agricultural trade is strongly contested as an international policy project. In the context of the current World Trade Organisation (WTO) Doha trade round, concerns revolve around the implications of freer trade for rural livelihoods and environments. Analysis of this complex and morally charged issue offers important insights into the nature of resistance to the neoliberal agenda. This resistance has been expressed in terms of perceived threats to the "multifunctionality" of agriculture and its ability to provide public environmental and social benefits. We focus specifically on Australia and the European Union (EU), key players in the WTO process but diametrically opposed in their embrace of, or resistance to, agricultural neoliberalisation. While the EU has sought to maintain trade barriers in order to protect both marginal areas and the market advantages derived from a heavily-subsidised, productivist agriculture, Australia relies on "competitive productivism"--unsubsidised, highly productive agriculture--to win markets. There is nevertheless evidence that the compatibility of market rule with agri-environmental (and, to a lesser extent, social) sustainability is being contested in both Australia and the EU, particularly at the regional scale. The nature and terms of this contestation are different, however, given the radically divergent macro-economic and socio-political contexts in which it is being framed. The debate about the socio-environmental implications of market opening within the agriculturally protectionist environment of the EU is largely anticipatory and risk-averting, while in the already market-exposed Australian context it is increasingly compensatory and harm-minimising. In this paper, we argue that neoliberalisation as a policy agenda is reshaped in different states and regions through processes of resistance and accommodation arising from particular geographical, historical, political and institutional contexts, and as a response to crises.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia