Reflexivity and the Regulation of GM Food and Feed in the EU

By Alexandros Khoury and Athanasia Chalari.

Published by The Social Sciences Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This paper attempts to apply Archer’s theory on reflexivity to governance arrangements, and more specifically, to risk regulation. We argue that the realisation of citizens’ inherent reflexive ability provides an additional independent justification to the widespread literature that calls for deliberative modes of governance. Subsequently, this contribution singles out a specific policy domain in the European Union (EU), namely the one concerning the regulation of genetically modified (GM) food and feed. It stresses that the substantial scientific uncertainty that surrounds agricultural biotechnology in addition to the strong objections of European citizens towards the technology renders this sensitive regulatory area an ideal candidate for the implementation of governance arrangements that make use of deliberation. What is more, a distinction is made between politics based on ‘routine action’ (or shallow politics) and politics based on reflexivity (or reflexive politics). In making this distinction, the paper examines the EU GM food and feed regulatory regime to ascertain the extent to which it utilises and encourages citizens’ deliberative input.

Keywords: Reflexivity, Risk Regulation, GMOs, Deliberative Democracy

International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Volume 4, Issue 11, pp.199-210. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.151MB).

Dr. Alexandros Khoury

Lecturer in Law, School of Law, University of Leicester, Leicester, UK

Dr. Alexandros Khoury is a Lecturer in Law at the University of Leicester. Before joining the School of Law at Leicester, Alexandros was a Teaching Assistant at the University of Cambridge and a Visiting Researcher at Harvard Law School. He has also served as a Visiting Lecturer at the Centre of International Studies, University of Cambridge. Alexandros holds an LLB and an LLM (in European Law) from the University of Kent as well as an M Phil (in European Studies) and a PhD (in Law) from Peterhouse, University of Cambridge. His research mainly focuses on the areas of EU law and risk regulation and has been sponsored by numerous institutions and funding bodies including Peterhouse, the AHRC, the Yorke Fund, the Cambridge Political Economy Society Trust, the Storrs Fund, the Gunn Fund and the Sir Richard Stapley Educational Trust. Alexandros currently teaches EU Law and the Law of Torts.

Dr. Athanasia Chalari

Lecturer in Sociology, Department of Sociology, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK

Dr. Athanasia Chalari is a Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Manchester. Previously, she was a teaching assistant at the University of Cambridge and a visiting fellow at the Department of Sociology, Harvard University. Athanasia holds a BA in Sociology from Panteion University, Athens, a BSc in Social Psychology from the University of Kent, an MA in Sociology from the University of Essex as well as an M Phil (in Counseling Psychotherapy) from Emmanuel College, University of Cambridge and a PhD in Sociology from the University of Warwick. Her research focuses upon the study of Current Social Theory with emphasis on Structure and Agency and the relationship between Internal and External Conversation and has been sponsored by Cambridge European Trust, The Sir Richard Stapley Educational Trust and Moraitis and Botsis Foundations. Athanasia currently teaches the modules ‘Approaches to the Individual’ and ‘Gender, Sexuality and Culture’.


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