CCRI researchers were involved at the recent XXVI European Society for Rural Sociology Congress in Aberdeen (18-21 August 2015).

Dr Damian Maye co-convened a working group (with Dr Jessica Duncan) that was concerned with examining the ‘Impacts and Implications of Alternative Food Practices in a Post-Neoliberal Transition’. Over 20 papers were presented in this working group across five sessions, including a paper presented by the CCRI’s Dr James Kirwan, which collectively provided concrete case studies and new theoretical frameworks that considered pathways and practices to shift the food systems towards more sustainable transitions.

Dr Kirwan’s paper, presented on behalf of his co-authors Dr Damian Maye and Professor Gianluca Brunori, was entitled ‘Acknowledging complexity in 21st Century food supply chains when assessing their performance and sustainability’. The paper drew on the findings of an EU-funded 7th Framework project with the acronym GLAMUR (Global and Local food chain Assessment: a MUltidimensional performance-based approach). It argues for the need to acknowledge and access the multiple, contested meanings that are attributed to both food and food supply chains. Taking its lead from post-normal science and reflexive governance, the approach posited aims to understand the significance of context and to account for multiple perspectives and realities. In so doing, it is possible to democratise and more widely legitimise knowledge claims with regard to food supply chain performance. View James Kirwan’s presentation on the CCRI Slideshare account.

Dr Maye also presented a paper (on behalf of his co-authors Dr Gareth Enticott and Dr Rhiannon Fisher) entitled: Neoliberalising nature: A longitudinal study of badger vaccination. This was part of a working group that was concerned with ‘Animalising rural societies: human-animal entanglements in a neoliberal world’. The paper, which emerged from work done as part of a 5-year Defra-funded project, examined farmers’ levels of confidence in vaccinating badgers against bovine TB. The paper argued that confidence in vaccination was linked to a range of factors, including trust in government and farmer understandings of nature and the badger population. View presentation on Slideshare.

Dr Maye was also a co-author on a paper presented by Dr Rhiannon Fisher entitled ‘The ‘good farmer’: farmer identities and the control of exotic livestock disease in England’. The paper argued that animal keeper practices are influenced by what they understand to be their individual identity as a ‘good farmer’ as well as their collective identities as perceived by those within and outside the farming sector. View presentation on the CCRI Slideshare account.

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