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Towards a critical governance framework: unveiling the political and justice dimensions of urban food partnerships

Moragues Faus, Ana 2020. Towards a critical governance framework: unveiling the political and justice dimensions of urban food partnerships. Geographical Journal 186 (1) , pp. 73-86. 10.1111/geoj.12325

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Current governance configurations have been signalled as a key driver for, but also a potential solution to, food insecurity and sustainability challenges. In this context, cities are becoming key transition spaces where new food governance systems are being fashioned, creating “spaces of deliberation” that bring together civil society, private actors, and local governments. To date, food governance analyses have been mostly aligned with an optimistic philosophy that in many instances overlooks conflicts of interest, winners and losers of different arrangements, and institutional deadlocks. A critical account of these new governance mechanisms is particularly relevant to incorporate fully the political dimension inherent in the production of and access to food. By studying the emergence and functioning of eight food partnerships in the UK, this paper aims to advance the conceptualisation and practice of a critical governance perspective. The paper combines three approaches in a new framework: political ecology, post‐political scholarship, and participative justice. This innovative lens allows us to navigate how different partnerships mobilise notions of equality, participation, and inclusion; co‐produce knowledge, values, and reflexivity within governance spaces; and create different forms of connectivity and autonomy to transform urban foodscapes. The analysis highlights how food partnerships expand beyond formal governance mechanisms and are actively (re)shaped by different agencies and relationships. This raises the need to explore the transformative capacity of everyday politics; that is, how it can contribute to developing more inclusive, equitable, and emancipatory urban foodscapes. At a time of increasing health and social inequalities, urban and food governance studies would benefit from exploring new ways of effectively championing the knowledges, needs, and experiences of those still living “at the margins.”

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Geography and Planning (GEOPL)
Publisher: Wiley
ISSN: 0016-7398
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 31 July 2019
Date of Acceptance: 29 July 2019
Last Modified: 15 Oct 2021 10:03

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