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Title: Transforming British Organics : The Role of Central Government, 1980-2006
Author: Tomlinson, Isobel Jane
ISNI:       0000 0001 2433 7247
Awarding Body: University College London (University of London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2007
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With clear evidence of major increases in the global market for organic food, the organic 'growth narrative' has evolved as both the central facet ofcontemporary academic examination of organic agriculture and as the dominant discourse for the organic movement itself. However, this narrative masks a dynamic complexity as changes in the organic sector have not just been ofscale but are complicit in changes to the qualitative characteristics of 'organics', The new economic, social and political contexts in which organics are now being constructed means that it is an increasingly contested term. In this context, the thesis is primarily concerned with the transformation of British organics towards being a successful market commodity and an agricultural policy instrument. With a particular focus on the political sphere, the thesis examines the evolving engagement of the British government with the UK organic movement since 1980 and the materialisation of particular policy outcomes for organic agriculture. Given the organic movement's critique of 'conventional' farming, support from government has been mixed, although the study records a progressive shift in favour of organics. It is essential to establish why organic agriculture has become a policy issue for government and, crucially, how government has dealt with the criticism of mainstream agriculture that organics contains. The thesis identifies several 'organic agricultural policy networks' to conceptualise the changing relations between the government and other interests. The study draws on the insights of an interpretative tradition which contends that policy networks are enacted by individuals. Together, these actors have constructed three different organic 'storylines' that are constituted in the particular memberships of the policy network in temporally specific sets of circumstances. An important focus, therefore, is the'tay in which the actors in the network have 'acted on organics' in the making of organic policy.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available