Project

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From movements to markets: Food politics and the dynamics of market contention, creation and change

Applicant Balsiger Philip
Number 147784
Funding scheme Advanced Postdoc.Mobility
Research institution The Graduate Center The City University of New York
Institution of higher education Institution abroad - IACH
Main discipline Political science
Start/End 01.09.2013 - 31.07.2015
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All Disciplines (2)

Discipline
Political science
Sociology

Keywords (7)

policy analysis; organic; field; corporation; animal rights; markets; social movements

Lay Summary (German)

Lead
Viele der Produktkategorien, die man im Nahrungsmittelmarkt findet, gehen auf Protestbewegungen zurück. Wer Eier kauft, kann sich für Freiland-Eier entscheiden, wer Gemüse will, kann bio kaufen. Wie beeinflussen Protestbewegungen die Entstehung und Veränderung von Produktkategorien und Märkten? Das Projekt geht dieser Frage nach.
Lay summary

Um die Rolle von sozialen Bewegungen in Marktveränderungsprozessen zu untersuchen werden in diesem Projekt zwei Fallbeispiele aus der Schweiz analysiert. Das erste Beispiel ist die Tierschutzbewegung, die seit den siebziger Jahre durch verschiedene Aktionen versucht hat, strengere Bestimmungen zur Tierhaltung einzuführen und Produzenten dazu zu bringen, tiergerechtere Praktiken zu verfolgen. Zweitens wird die Biobewegung untersucht, die herkömmliche Produktionsmethoden kritisiert und alternative Formen der Landwirtschaft entwickelt hat, was zur Entstehung des stetig wachsenden Biomarktes. Anhand dieser zwei Fälle will das Projekt die unterschiedlichen Aktionsformen von Bewegungen untersuchen, welche Märkte kritisieren und Alternativen dazu entwickeln. Und es will zeigen, wie das Zusammenspiel von Zivilgesellschaft, Politik und Firmen die Struktur dieser neuen Märkte prägt, anhand von Interviews und Archivanalysen.

Ziel des Forschungsprojekts ist es einerseits, neue Einsichten in das Entstehen und die Veränderung von Märkten zu entwickeln. Oft wird das Aufkommen von Bio einfach als Reaktion der Firmen auf eine veränderte Nachfrage erklärt; in diesem Projekt soll gezeigt werden, dass dahinter organisierte Gruppen stehen, die Druck auf Produzenten und Politiker machen und alternative Produktionsmethoden und Produktkategorien entwickeln. Das zweite Ziel des Projektes ist es, diese weitgehend unerforschten Bewegungen in der Schweiz besser zu verstehen und ihre Bedeutung einzuordnen.


Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 16.07.2013

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Publications

Publication
Moral Struggles in Markets: the Fight Against Battery Cages and the Rise of Cage-Free Eggs in Switzerland
Balsiger Philip (2016), Moral Struggles in Markets: the Fight Against Battery Cages and the Rise of Cage-Free Eggs in Switzerland, in European Journal of Sociology, 57(3), 419-450.
Explaining Dynamic Strategies for Defending Company Legitimacy: The Changing Outcomes of Anti-Sweatshop Campaigns in France and Switzerland
Balsiger Philip, Explaining Dynamic Strategies for Defending Company Legitimacy: The Changing Outcomes of Anti-Sweatshop Campaigns in France and Switzerland, in Business and Society.
Managing protest: the political action repertoires of corporations
Balsiger Philip, Managing protest: the political action repertoires of corporations, in Della Porta Donatella (ed.), Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
Conference of European Sociological Association Talk given at a conference How would you like your egg? 26.08.2015 Prag, Czech Republic Balsiger Philip;
Canadian Sociological Association Conference Talk given at a conference How would you like your egg? 03.06.2015 Ottawa, Canada Balsiger Philip;
Politics and Protest Workshop Individual talk First Grub, then Ethics? Contentious struggles on the values of chickens and eggs. 19.02.2015 New York, United States of America Balsiger Philip;


Self-organised

Title Date Place
Social Movements and Corporations in the Global South 27.08.2015 Prag, Czech Republic
Sub-theme 'Movements, Markets, and Fields’, EGOS Colloquium 2014 03.07.2014 Rotterdam, Netherlands
Workshop 'Bringing Capitalism Back In: Resistance to Corporate Power and Austerity Politics’ 21.05.2014 European University Institute, Florenz, Italy

Abstract

This project analyses how social movements contest markets and how markets change and new markets emerge. Building on the recently developing literature on the contentiousness of markets, it proposes an examination of social movements and food politics in Switzerland. It studies two cases of social movements that have challenged markets and provoked market change: the organic movement and campaigns of the animal rights movement. While the former pursued a strategy of niche creation, the latter contested practices of farmers and producers regarding animal husbandry. Comparing those movements as they challenge existing forms of food production, it asks how their interaction with producers, consumers, retailers and the state leads to different paths of market change. Thus, it promises insights into the dynamics of market contention, creation, and change. Such interactions are conceptualized as taking place within fields, i.e. meso-level social orders of interaction between attuned actors. Interactions and changes within the fields of production, distribution/retailing, and political regulation, will be at the center of the analysis. The project consists of a comparative and historical qualitative case study. It aims at a theoretically informed reconstruction of the dynamics and market outcomes of the movements in order to understand the genealogy of market rise and change. The study will look in particular into agricultural policy and the reaction of the established farmer association as well as public policy makers and administrators following the rise of organic farming and animal welfare campaigns. Actions and motivations of movement actors and of other players such as farmers, retailers, policy makers will be treated with equal attention, as required by a field perspective. The study relies on a method mix consisting of interviews, press analysis (in particular trade press and organizational publications), and archival research using organizational archives.
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