MSc thesis presentation Anke Brons: food system governance

Published on
October 1, 2015

You are hereby cordially invited to the MSc thesis presentation of Anke Brons entitled "Food system governance: a systematic literature review".

Supervisor: Otto Hospes
Co-examinor: Katrien Termeer
Date and time:  8 October 2015, 13:30-14:30 hours
Location: room 3011, Leeuwenborch, Hollandseweg 1, Wageningen 

Witnessing the world food price crises of 2007/2008 and 2010, scientists and policymakers alike stated that these crises were basically food system crises. They called for the development of new governance for food systems to address global challenges in the field of food security, environmental change and poverty reduction. The nature of institutional processes and food system governance was prioritized for future research. This thesis seeks to capture how food system governance has been conceptualized in academic literature since the world food prices crises of 2007/2008 and what proposals have been developed to change and strengthen food system governance. For this purpose, a literature review of both food systems and food system governance has been conducted. The review of food systems shows that two scientific frames can be distinguished: the first one is to conceive a food system as a chain of interlinked activities from production to consumption; the second one is to frame a food system as a ‘socio-ecological system’ (SES), in which ecological processes and socio-economic change are seen as interlinked drivers and outcomes of a food system. The review of food system governance shows that four main proposals can be distinguished to change food system governance: adaptive governance, reflexive governance, resistance governance and policy integration. To further develop food system governance as an emerging field of research, we generally propose to explore how the different conceptualizations of food system governance that underlie these proposals, can enrich each other. More specifically, we suggest to include governance in analytical frameworks on the complexity and dynamics of food systems as socio-ecological systems. Also, we propose to use and test the concept of adaptive governance in empirical, multi-level, multi-actor and multi-site research of food systems.