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ERIC Number: EJ926645
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Apr
Pages: 9
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0743-0167
Enacting Third-Party Certification: A Case Study of Science and Politics in Organic Shrimp Certification
Konefal, Jason; Hatanaka, Maki
Journal of Rural Studies, v27 n2 p125-133 Apr 2011
As third-party certification has become a prominent governance mechanism, conflicting understandings of it have emerged. Proponents advance third-party certification as a technical and objective governance mechanism, while critics argue that politics and relations of power characterize it. We reject this dichotomization both in terms of how TPC is understood, as well as understandings of science and politics. Drawing on science and technology studies, we argue that third-party certification is simultaneously science-based and political, and that both science and politics entail social and technical practices. Using a case study of an organic shrimp project in Indonesia, we examine the development and enforcement of standards. Three important findings emerge from our analysis. First, the development and enforcement of standards in a third-party certified project is partially dependent on the extent to which the interests and realities of all stakeholders are successfully translated and enrolled. Second, differences between actors in a third-party certified project are not just epistemological, but also ontological. Thus, overcoming differences in TPC entails reconciling not only interests and knowledge, but also material realities. Third, TPC is performative in that if the standards are to be adhered to, enrollment and translation have to be continuous practices. In concluding, we argue that a science and technology analysis points to the need not only to democratize TPC, but also diversify the epistemological basis of standards, and that efforts to ensure compliance need to go beyond audits.
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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: Indonesia