Social justice-oriented narratives in European urban food strategies: Bringing forward redistribution, recognition and representation
More and more cities develop urban food strategies (UFSs) to guide their efforts and practices towards more sustainable food systems. An emerging theme shaping these food policy endeavours, especially prominent in North and South America, concerns the enhancement of social justice within food systems. To operationalise this theme in a European urban food governance context we adopt Nancy Fraser’s three-dimensional theory of justice: economic redistribution, cultural recognition and political representation. In this paper, we discuss the findings of an exploratory document analysis of the social justice-oriented ambitions, motivations, current practices and policy trajectories articulated in sixteen European UFSs. We reflect on the food-related resource allocations, value patterns and decision rules these cities propose to alter and the target groups they propose to support, empower or include. Overall, we find that UFSs make little explicit reference to social justice and justice-oriented food concepts, such as food security, food justice, food democracy and food sovereignty. Nevertheless, the identified resources, services and target groups indicate that the three dimensions of Fraser are at the heart of many of the measures described. We argue that implicit, fragmentary and unspecified adoption of social justice in European UFSs is problematic, as it may hold back public consciousness, debate and collective action regarding food system inequalities and may be easily disregarded in policy budgeting, implementation and evaluation trajectories. As a path forward, we present our plans for the RE-ADJUSTool that would enable UFS stakeholders to reflect on how their UFS can incorporate social justice and who to involve in this pursuit.
© The Author(s) 2020. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/. The Version of Scholarly Record of this Article is published in Agriculture and Human Values, 2021, available online at: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10460-020-10179-6 . Keywords: urban food strategies; social justice; European cities; Milan Urban Food Policy Pact; policy analysis.
Smaal, S.A.L., Dessein, J., Wind, B.J. et al. Social justice-oriented narratives in European urban food strategies: Bringing forward redistribution, recognition and representation. Agric Hum Values 38, 709–727 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10460-020-10179-6