Revisiting the transatlantic divergence over GMOs: Toward a cultural-political analysis


Stephan H (2012) Revisiting the transatlantic divergence over GMOs: Toward a cultural-political analysis. Global Environmental Politics, 12 (4), pp. 104-124.

'Revisiting the transatlantic divergence over GMOs: towards a cultural-political analysis' applies a constructivist perspective to the persistent transatlantic divergence over the regulation of GM foods and crops. Political economy and institutionalism have so far dominated the literature. Notwithstanding their crucial insights, this article argues that to achieve a better understanding of the nature and depth of transatlantic regulatory divergence, one should also study prevalent cultural values and identity-related public concerns regarding food and agriculture. These factors can be identified in public opinion trends and have fuelled Europeans' resistance, while contributing to relative regulatory stability in the US. By conceptualizing cultural contexts as catalytic structures, the article also differs from more explicitly discursive accounts of political mobilization. The cultural politics of agricultural biotechnology (agbiotech) relies both on pre-existing values and identities, on the one hand, and on the strategies (and material or other power resources) of political agents.

agricultural biotechnology; GMOs; cultural politics; European Union; United States

Global Environmental Politics: Volume 12, Issue 4

Publication date30/11/2012
Publication date online12/2012
PublisherMIT Press