Environmental Politics and Deliberative Democracy

Environmental Politics and Deliberative Democracy

Examining the Promise of New Modes of Governance

Edited by Karin Bäckstrand, Jamil Kahn, Annica Kronsell and Eva Lövbrand

Can new modes of governance, such as public–private partnerships, stakeholder consultations and networks, promote effective environmental policy performance as well as increased deliberative and participatory quality? This book argues that in academic inquiry and policy practice there has been a deliberative turn, manifested in a revitalized interest in deliberative democracy coupled with calls for novel forms of public–private governance. By linking theory and practice, the contributors critically examine the legitimacy and effectiveness of new modes of governance, using a range of case studies on climate, forestry, water and food safety policies from local to global levels.

Chapter 9: Old and New Forms of Governance of Food Technologies in Mid-20th Century Sweden

Gustav Holmberg

Subjects: environment, environmental governance and regulation, environmental politics and policy, politics and public policy, environmental politics and policy, european politics and policy


Gustav Holmberg INTRODUCTION The governance of science and technology is not confined to governments alone. The Science and Technology Studies (STS) literature has for a long time highlighted how a wide range of actors, such as industry, scientific organizations, experts, pressure groups, patient groups and consumer groups contribute to techno-scientific decisions in shifting constellations and in various institutional settings. Scholars and practitioners alike have welcomed this development. In order to (re-)gain public trust and increase the legitimacy of expert and innovation processes, it is today commonly argued that this sector should be open to the input of a diverse citizenry (Jasanoff, 2005; Hagendijk and Irwin, 2006; Irwin, 2008). As pointed out by Evans and Collins (2008, p. 614), ‘science and technology need to be made more accountable and responsive to the wider society, and one way to do this is through the increased participation of users, stakeholders and citizens’. Hence, both in theory and practice, the governance of science and technology seems to signify what in this book is called the ‘deliberative turn’. This chapter argues that the contemporary interest in more participatory and non-hierarchical modes of science and technology governance can be used to re-interpret governance processes in other historical contexts. In this vein, the aim of the chapter is to analyse policy processes in the governance of food technologies during the emergence of the modern Scandinavian welfare state in the 1940s and 1950s. The governance concept is suitable for the food sector, which included a multitude of...

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