Skip navigation

Battlefields of ideas: changing narratives and power dynamics in private standards in global agricultural value chains

Battlefields of ideas: changing narratives and power dynamics in private standards in global agricultural value chains

Nelson, Valerie and Tallontire, Anne (2014) Battlefields of ideas: changing narratives and power dynamics in private standards in global agricultural value chains. Agriculture and Human Values, 31 (3). pp. 481-497. ISSN 0889-048X (Print), 1572-8366 (Online) (doi:10.1007/s10460-014-9512-8)

[img] PDF (Publisher's PDF)
11611 NELSON_Battlefield_of_Ideas_2014.pdf - Published Version
Restricted to Registered users only

Download (269kB)

Abstract

The rise of private standards, including those involving multi-stakeholder processes, raises questions about whose interests are served and the kind of power that is exerted to maintain these interests. This paper critically examines the battle for ideas—the way competing factions assert their own narratives about value chain relations, the role of standards and related multi-stakeholder processes. Drawing on empirical research on the horticulture and floriculture value chains linking Kenya and the United Kingdom, the analysis explores the framing of sustainability issues, especially around labor issues and good agricultural practice, and the choice of response with respect to private standards and multi-stakeholder initiatives since the late 1990s. We identify four competing narratives currently in play: a dominant global sourcing narrative, a pragmatic development narrative, a broader development narrative and a narrative we term potentially transformative. This last narrative is currently emerging through the unpacking of narratives in relation to the framing of sustainability problems and solutions, and in terms of legislative, executive and judicial governance. The paper contributes to emerging understanding of power in value chains, moving beyond material power to a consideration of how ideational power is exerted and resisted.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: [1] The authors acknowledge funding from the UK’s Economic and Social Research Council and Department for International Development (DFID), for the project Governance Implications of Private Standards Initiatives in Agri-Food Chains, Grant Ref: RES-167-25-0195
Uncontrolled Keywords: private standards, multi-stakeholder initiatives, agriculture, governance, Kenya, sustainability standards
Subjects: S Agriculture > S Agriculture (General)
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Engineering & Science > Natural Resources Institute
Faculty of Engineering & Science > Natural Resources Institute > Livelihoods & Institutions Department
Related URLs:
Last Modified: 26 Apr 2017 15:35
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: GREAT a
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/11611

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item

Downloads

Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics