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Record number 499242
Title Towards a New Cosmopolitanism: Global Reflexive Interactive Democracy as a New Mechanism for Civil Society Participation in Agri-food Governance
Author(s) Duncan, J.A.B.; Bevilaqua, D.
Source Global Jurist 10 (2010)1. - ISSN 1934-2640
Department(s) Rural Sociology
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2010
Abstract In an increasingly interconnected world, where the widespread travel of goods highlights our interconnectedness, who has the power to decide the global regulations that shape the production, processing and exchange of agri-food products? How are such decisions made and by whom? Who decides what is safe to eat? Whose definition of safe is used? Where is the way to the new cosmopolitanism? In this article we seek out answers to these questions through an analysis of global food safety regulation. We review the current legal structure of global agri-food governance and consider limitations in decision-making models, restricted transparency, limited public participation and insufficient democratic guarantees.Global food regulation necessitates transparent, participative and impartial mechanisms of policy- and rule-making. However, a common global regulation must also consider and respect pluralism. We argue that the harmonization of global food regulation thus needs to follow a democratic pattern which pursues integration without compromising pluralism, and reduces fragmentation without denying legal and cultural differences. In this context, we propose a model for global decision-making that combines associative and deliberative democracy. We then propose a plan to engage the public in policy-making by using an interactive procedural mechanism of deliberation and by engaging civil society organisations in decision-making. Enhanced civil society participation in global agri-food governance has the capacity to increase efficiency, impartiality, transparency and democracy in the global policy-making process.
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