Symposium 2017

In this section you can find all information about our upcoming public symposium:

For registration, please follow the link: Register now!

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Topic description:

The intensification of environmental concerns over the past decades has brought into food systems a variety of governance mechanisms that transcend traditional boundaries (e.g. between the public and the private or the state and the market) and produce new combinations of governance ideas, tools and actors at various scales. This re-configuration of governance has created a polyphonic proliferation of new instruments that draw on contrasting logics and different rationalities – yet all of which are harboured within the dominant but highly contested discourse of sustainability. In these processes, assemblages of actors, human and non-human, have been transformed and reorganized, affecting arguably the whole systems in which they were embedded, and producing new relations of interdependence, identification and power. Food itself, as the central stake of the production-consumption process, has been changed. The criteria of what defines the identity of a food product are discussed and redefined within multiple spaces of dialog.

This symposium takes up the challenge of highlighting some of these transformations that unfold throughout the food system, and that impact the way actors connect with others in the production of everyday practices of agri-environmental governance. Novel theories, methods and empirical case studies shall be discussed that allow us to better grasp the entangled nature of our agri-food systems, and to make sense of changing socio-ecological assemblages and subjectivities, as interrelated elements.


9.15: Welcome and Introduction

9.30: The diversity, complexity and ambiguity of AEG (Discussion and chair: Terry Marsden, Cardiff University, UK)

Sustainability’s Demise? Paradoxical effects of implementing the EU’s geolabel.  A case study from Cyprus (Gisela Welz, Goethe University Frankfurt, Germany)

Governance as practices and assemblages: looking at the transformative potential of AEG (Jérémie Forney, Dana Bentia, Ismaël Tall & Thomas Vetter, Université de Neuchâtel, CH)

11.00 Coffee Break

The changing landscape of agri-environmental governance in Indonesia (Angga Dwiartama, Institut Teknologi Bandung, Indonesia)

Discussion (Terry Marsden, Cardiff University, UK)

12.45:   Lunch break (lunch provided against donations by the anti-food waste student association AED,

14.00:   Confronting the novelty in governance, old problems and new challenges (Discussion and chair: Hugh Campbell, University of Otago, New Zealand)

Critical debates in agri-environmental policy design and implementation: Hard paths, soft paths, and artificial paths (Steven A. Wolf, Cornell University, USA)

Post-Normal Conservation: Re-Ordering of Biodiversity Governance and Environmental Subjectivity (Katja Neves, Concordia University, Canada)

15.30 Coffee Break

The Politics of Big Data: Corporate Agrifood Governance meets “Weak” Resistance (Michael Carolan (Colorado State University, USA)

Discussion (Hugh Campbell, University of Otago (New Zealand)

17.15 Conclusion

You can download the event flyer including the programme here.


The symposium is free or charge, but for organisational reasons we kindly ask you to register by 31. August 2017. You can do this by following the registration link below, which brings you to our Eventbrite website where you can claim your ticket:

Register now!


The symposium will take place in Room RE 48 at the Faculty of Humanities of the University of Neuchâtel, Espace Louis-Agassiz 1, 2000 Neuchâtel, Switzerland.