Knowledge networks for a versatile countryside

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The dominant socio-technical regime for existing agrifood system in the U.S. is successful in terms of generating profits for the food system. Its large scale, tendency to monocultures, centralization and vertical integration has allowed it to externalize costs and concentrate profits and control. Yet a variety of social movements challenge the dominant socio-technical agrifood regime. In 2008, they are somewhat uneasily coalescing around the Good Food Movement. Social movements depend on framing processes, resource mobilization, and opportunity processes, which allow the emergence and success of a variety of Social Movement Organizations (SMOs) that work together in a variety of ways. By analyzing transitions processes in the U.S. in terms of the social movements that are engaged in the transition, the dynamic nature of those processes can best be understood. New social movement theories can inform this analysis. New social movement organizations are in contrast to the subject of social movement analysis prior to 1968: class struggle. New social movements, often based on identity that transcended economic interests, provide most of the social movement organizations (SMOs) that are part of the Good Food movement, which is attempting to change the socio-technical regime and transition to agrifood systems that are green, healthy, fair, affordable and local.

Food strategy, Social capital, Social movements, Agrifood systems, Social movements, Good food movement, Green, Ecosystem
Paper presented at the European Eemland Conference: Versatile Countryside, Eemlandhoeve, Bunschoten, The Netherlands, 22 October 2008