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Frames of food – a case study of the Swiss city Basel

Moschitz, Heidrun and Portmann, Madlen (2013) Frames of food – a case study of the Swiss city Basel. Paper at: XXV ESRS Congress, Florence, 29.7.-1.8.2013.

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Document available online at: http://www.florenceesrs2013.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/book-of-abstract-version-1109.pdf


This contribution starts from the observation that there are many places for ‘food’ in a city like Basel. On the one hand, there are different departments and offices, such as the Office for Environment and Energy, the Office for Parks and Recreation, or the Office for City Development. All these are implementing policies that define under which conditions food is grown in the city, determine which food initiatives are supported, which actors are seen as relevant, etc. Many of the policies are affecting food only indirectly, and there is no official collaboration on the topic of food between the city departments: the city is lacking an overall food strategy. On the other hand, there is a social movement aiming at ‘food democracy’. Currently, it is very active in getting a food strategy started, but so far the progress has been slow. This social movement is an example of a bottom-up initiative, with several individual projects joining in one network. Accordingly, the values and goals vary among the members, and it can be questioned how many of those participating in particular projects see themselves as part of a political movement. Thus, we do not only find a high variety of places for food in Basel, but also a number of different values and goals that the involved actors have, be it from the city or the social movement.
In the paper we will present first results of a study that analysed the different ways in which the involved actors frame ‘food’. Our hypothesis is that different frames of food inhibit the development of a comprehensive food strategy. The focus of the study is on the tension between a loose network-movement and the engagement of the city in form of a food strategy. It will explore how the movement interacts with the institutions, and what aims the movement has in regard to changing the predominant food governance in Basel. How do they perceive their role in shaping how food is produced and distributed in the city, and in reformulating the relationship between producers, consumers, state and civil society? In so doing, the research will interact directly with the discussion process on a food strategy in Basel. In consequence, the paper will also reflect on the role of research in the triangle of civil society-policy-research.

EPrint Type:Conference paper, poster, etc.
Type of presentation:Paper
Keywords:food strategy, Urban areas, farming, social movement, FiBL 35106, Urbane Räume
Agrovoc keywords:
urban areas
Subjects: Food systems > Policy environments and social economy
Knowledge management > Research methodology and philosophy
Food systems > Produce chain management
Research affiliation: Switzerland > FiBL - Research Institute of Organic Agriculture Switzerland > Society > Rural sociology
European Union > Other projects, departments, etc.
Horizon Europe or H2020 Grant Agreement Number:265287
Deposited By: Moschitz, Heidrun
ID Code:25526
Deposited On:27 Mar 2014 07:07
Last Modified:15 Mar 2022 15:31
Document Language:English
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted

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