International Journal of Sociology of Agriculture and Food
Special issue: Global shocks, changing agricultural policy and the viability of rural communities
Guest editors: Hilde Bjørkhaug and Katrina Rønningen, Centre for Rural Research, Trondheim, Norway.
Recent global shocks and perceptions of their dimensions – uncertain food stocks, the aftermath of the last financial crisis and the new crisis many now are facing, reconstruction of stable economies, climate change and extreme weather events, energy pricing and shortage – all influence state dispositions and priorities regarding agriculture and food production. Given this, they also impact the future of rural areas. This special issue of IJSAF engages with this issue at several levels.
First, what are the prospects for a new political-international regime, where the moral and economic imperatives increasingly focus on food production? Could the environment and rural communities be protected from extreme market fluctuations?
In Europe and some other places, multifunctional agricultural policies have, in addition to securing food production, been designed to also support other outcomes, primarily sustaining rural communities, landscapes, biodiversity and cultural heritage. In these agricultural policies, multifunctional agriculture has been seen as the industrial backbone of the rural community and the basis for the diversification and development of new rural businesses. Others have criticized such policies for propping up unviable European producers and disadvantaging struggling farmers in developing nations. Policy instruments in Europe and elsewhere are now moving towards a decoupling of support away from agricultural production towards rural development, land stewardship and rural housing. This special issue of IJSAF examines the effects of multifunctional policies within and outside Europe; and how multifunctionality is being taken up and adapted in other parts of the world as part of a response to pressing environmental issues. Will we see a continuing rise of green and /or rural subsidies? What kinds of instruments are viewed as legitimate?
Secondly at a different level, what are the consequences of changing agricultural policy for rural communities? Is agriculture necessary to sustain them or vice versa? Is agriculture sustainable without rural communities? Changing conditions for agriculture require new and innovative ways of creating a rural livelihood for those who want to live a rural lifestyle. What are the preconditions for the sustainability, and/or creation, of rural diversity? Do existing regulations and property structures enable new rural development? What are the consequences of changing land use for landscapes, cultural heritage and biodiversity?
The third level is related to the situation for rural populations under different policy regimes. This includes indicators such as gender, age profile, poverty, health, exclusion, class and culture. Who stays, who leaves and who enters rural areas under shifting policies?
Authors are invited to submit an abstract addressing empirical and theoretical issues related to global shocks, changing agricultural policy and the viability of rural communities reflecting the parameters indicated above.
Abstracts will be selected based on quality and whether they fit into a coherent issue.
15 June 2012: Submission of abstracts (300 words)
1 July 2012: Notification to authors if abstracts have been selected for special issue
1 November 2012: Submission of full papers (6000-8000 words)
1 March 2013: Reviewer comments to authors
1 June 2013: Submission of final revised papers by authors to editors
October 2013: Publication
Submission of Abstracts
Please send your abstracts by 15 June 2012 to: Hilde Bjørkhaug Hilde.Bjorkhaug@bygdeforskning.no
Abstracts should include a title, list of authors, contact details, a concise description of the envisioned paper, an identification of the relationship between the envisioned paper and at least one of the suggested themes, and up to five keywords. Full papers are expected by 1 November 2012 after which they will be sent out for peer review. A decision on the papers will be communicated to the authors by the editors by 1 March 2013. Publication is expected in October 2013.