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Challenging food governance models: analyzing the food citizen and the emerging food constitutionalism from an EU perspective

By L. E. San-Epifanio

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Critical analyses of current food systems underline the need to respond to important challenges in questions of nutritional health, environmental sustainability, socio-economic development and protection of the cultural wealth. A wide range of perspectives and methodologies were used to carry out those analyses yielding a significant variety of proposals to undertake the challenges. In most of those analyses, the need to transform our current food systems both from the local to the global level is emphasized, paying attention to food chain processes as well as to decision-makers. The analysis presented in this paper reflects specifically on those proposals based on a common aspect: the need to transform the governance of the EU present-day food system, that is, who makes decisions, how are those decisions made, and which changes need to be made to empower food consumers. The introduction of reforms to change these models is proposed. The focus of these proposals, including those that argue in favour of food sovereignty, the human right to food or the acknowledgement of a food citizenship, share, I believe, a common key. All of them advocate transformations in models of food governance on the basis of a series of mechanisms and principles which for centuries have been employed to control power and grant the governed a status digno vis-a-vis those who govern. Within those proposals we may identify an incipient food constitutionalism, which I will address along with the opportunities and obstacles inherent in the current EU Legal Framework.

Publication Title Journal of Agricultural & Environmental Ethics
Volume 28
Issue 3
Pages 435-454
ISBN/ISSN 0893-4282
DOI 10.1007/s10806-015-9543-1
Language English
Author Address Department of Constitutional Law and History of Political Thought, University of the Basque Country UPV/EHU, Bilbao,
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Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Constraints
  2. Decision making
  3. Empowerment
  4. Europe
  5. Food policy
  6. Human rights
  7. Law and legal issues
  8. models
  9. peer-reviewed
  10. regulations
  1. peer-reviewed