'The Journal of Transdisciplinary Environmental Studies' (TES)
Volume 1, Number 1, May 2002

ISSN 1602-2297

Ecological Modernisation and ‘Our Daily Bread’ -
Variations in the transition of the food sector

Jesper Holm and Inger Stauning, Associate Professors,
Department of Environment, Technology and Social Studies, Roskilde University, Denmark
E-mail: jh@ruc.dk and is@ruc.dk

Abstract: Is ecological modernisation solely an economic and political regulatory strategy, or could the societal transformation or switchover also be explained by way of cultural processes? The switchover, which can be defined as the growth of environmental awareness in society and its institutions, elicits different responses from industrial actors. Bottom-up strategies of innovation, communication and the development of mediating institutions to support and build on the subjective commitments of actors in the production chain, may well be effective policies for the ecological modernisation of society. Cultural environmental politics could focus on the empowerment of ecologically reflective practitioners and their network relationships as a democratic means of progressing ecological modernisation. In the context of a transition to organic in the Danish food sector, these themes of cultural politics are discussed, with specific reference to case studies in bread production.

Key Words: Ecological modernisation, food industry, cultural politics, organic food

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