Other affiliations: University of Western Sydney, Central Queensland University, Aarhus University ...read more
Bio: Darren Halpin is an academic researcher from Australian National University. The author has contributed to research in topics: Public policy & Politics. The author has an hindex of 26, co-authored 90 publications receiving 1945 citations. Previous affiliations of Darren Halpin include University of Western Sydney & Central Queensland University.
Papers published on a yearly basis
TL;DR: In contrast with the uncritical optimism of popular narratives on organic food and agriculture, social scientists have debated at length the potential for the organic food sector to 'conventionalise'; that is, to transform from an oppositional social movement promoting fundamentally different agroecologies and social relationships into a highly regulated and capital intensive food industry differing little from its conventional counterparts as discussed by the authors.
Abstract: In contrast with the uncritical optimism of popular narratives on organic food and agriculture, social scientists have debated at length the potential for the organic food sector to 'conventionalise'; that is, to transform from an oppositional social movement promoting fundamentally different agroecologies and social relationships into a highly regulated and capital intensive food industry differing little from its conventional counterparts. Often, this is argued to result in a 'bifurcation' between industrial organic producers and a residual of small, artisanal social movement activists. Data from surveys of 397 certified organic and 434 conventional farmers in Australia call into question, however, the tendency of the bifurcation model to dichotomise small and large producers in this manner. Despite considerable polarisation in the economic scale of organic producers, there was no evidence that larger organic producers held significantly different values and beliefs to smaller organic growers. Nor were larger organic growers poised to capture greater market share through faster rates of expansion, or any less likely to support local consumption through sales direct to consumers.
TL;DR: For instance, this paper pointed out that the lack of conceptual clarity in the social sciences has a negative effect on the ability to distinguish between interest groups and other policy relevant bodies, such as corporations or institutions.
Abstract: This article notes the systemic lack of conceptual clarity in the social sciences and attempts to illustrate the adverse consequences by closer examination of the particular example of the interest group field. It indicates the significant ambiguities implicit in the term. Not all policy-influencing organisations are interest groups as normally understood, but because there is a lack of an appropriate label the term interest group is used by default. The article seeks to distinguish between interest groups and other policy relevant bodies—often corporations or institutions. It finds disadvantages in adopting a functional interpretation of the interest group term (i.e. any organisation trying to influence public policy). While the wider range of organisations are crucial in understanding the making of public policy, it is confusing to assume that this wider population are all interest groups. The article instead advances the complementary notions of pressure participant, policy participant and interest group. This slightly expanded repertoire of terms avoids conflating important distinctions, and, in Sartori’s term permits ‘disambiguation’. The core assumption is that the search for comparative data and exploration of normative questions implies some harmonisation in the interest group currency. With few—if any—exceptions, concepts in the social sciences are poorly defined: indeed most prove popular precisely because they have an imprecision that allows promiscuous application. 1 Though the press and non-specialist political scientists think they know when an organisation is, or is not, an interest group, this is an area where more careful scrutiny produces less rather than more confidence. This article ‘tests’ a very basic ‘unit of analysis’ crucial to political science, the interest group, and finds that the elasticity of understanding among scholars in the area makes cumulative studies (unnecessarily) difficult. In the absence of definitional clarity, general conclusions about what sorts of groups dominate the democratic system—an important dimension to interest group study—are almost impossible to draw with any accuracy. The core proposition in this article 2 is that different authors cover different types of organisation in the field loosely delineated by the interest/pressure group label. While there is value in Karl Popper’s concern that we should not be ‘goaded into taking seriously words and their meanings’ (Popper 1976, quoted in Gerring 1999, 360), if there are no agreed language-tools there can be no comparison of conclusions.
13 Oct 2006
TL;DR: In this article, the authors examine what really is going on in the organic sector, socially and politically, and debunks a number of apparently common-sense beliefs: that organic consumers are wealthy environmental and health extremists; that growth in the industry will inevitably undermine its environmental values; that mainstream media is antagonistic to organics; and, that the industry is driven by consumer demand.
Abstract: This book sets out to examine what really is going on in the organic sector, socially and politically. In the process, it debunks a number of apparently common-sense beliefs: that organic consumers are wealthy environmental and health extremists; that growth in the industry will inevitably undermine its environmental values; that mainstream media is antagonistic to organics; and, that the industry is driven by consumer demand. This book seeks to make a practical contribution to the development of more sustainable food systems by articulating what it takes to get people involved in organics at each stage of the food chain.
24 Aug 2002
TL;DR: The first volume of the OMIaRD project's "Analysis of the European market for organic food" as mentioned in this paper provides the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of European organic food markets.
Abstract: "Analysis of the European market for organic food" is the first volume to be published by the OMIaRD project. In providing the most comprehensive and up to date information and analysis of European organic food markets, it offers important information in its own right but also contributes a foundation for further study. It covers all important aspects of the organic market, including production, consumption, foreign trade, supply deficits, prices and premiums. Nineteen countries have been separately investigated, and comparison and overview allow important policy and marketing conclusions to emerge.
TL;DR: This paper argued that the type of constituency a group advocates for can be used to calibrate expectations of internal democratic structures of accountability and authorization, and used the concepts of representation and solidarity to make sense of the (changeable) practices of a variety of groups.
Abstract: Embracing ‘groups’ as means to address democratic deficiencies invites scrutiny of their democratic practices. However, many groups lack internal democratic practices and offer few opportunities for affiliates to participate. Guided by an implicit ‘representation’ narrative of groups, the absence of internal democratic practices is interpreted as a sign of ‘failure’ or ‘deficiency’. Some scholars have entertained the idea of setting minimum standards of internal democracy as a prerequisite for policy access. This article scrutinizes this emerging consensus and its ‘representation’ narrative. Drawing upon the work of O’Neill (2001) and Pitkin (1967), it is argued that groups can also be viewed through a lens of solidarity. This paper argues that the type of constituency a group advocates for can be used to calibrate expectations of internal democratic structures of accountability and authorization. The concepts of ‘representation’ and ‘solidarity’ are used to make sense of the (changeable) practices of a variety of groups.
01 Jan 2008
TL;DR: In this article, the authors argue that rational actors make their organizations increasingly similar as they try to change them, and describe three isomorphic processes-coercive, mimetic, and normative.
Abstract: What makes organizations so similar? We contend that the engine of rationalization and bureaucratization has moved from the competitive marketplace to the state and the professions. Once a set of organizations emerges as a field, a paradox arises: rational actors make their organizations increasingly similar as they try to change them. We describe three isomorphic processes-coercive, mimetic, and normative—leading to this outcome. We then specify hypotheses about the impact of resource centralization and dependency, goal ambiguity and technical uncertainty, and professionalization and structuration on isomorphic change. Finally, we suggest implications for theories of organizations and social change.
TL;DR: The course is focused on historical texts, most of them philosophical as discussed by the authors, and context for understanding the texts and the course of democratic development will be provided in lecture and discussions, and by some background readings (Dunn).
Abstract: The course is focused on historical texts, most of them philosophical. Context for understanding the texts and the course of democratic development will be provided in lecture and discussions, and by some background readings (Dunn). We begin with the remarkable Athenian democracy, and its frequent enemy the Spartan oligarchy. In Athens legislation was passed directly by an assembly of all citizens, and executive officials were selected by lot rather than by competitive election. Athenian oligarchs such as Plato more admired Sparta, and their disdain for the democracy became the judgment of the ages, until well after the modern democratic revolutions. Marsilius of Padua in the early Middle Ages argued for popular sovereignty. The Italian citystates of the Middle Ages did without kings, and looked back to Rome and Greece for republican models. During the English Civil War republicans debated whether the few or the many should be full citizens of the regime. The English, French, and American revolutions struggled with justifying and establishing a representative democracy suitable for a large state, and relied on election rather than lot to select officials. The English established a constitutional monarchy, admired in Europe, and adapted by the Americans in their republican constitution. The American Revolution helped inspire the French, and the French inspired republican and democratic revolution throughout Europe during the 19 century.
TL;DR: The results partially support the usefulness of incorporating moral measures as well as affective items for attitude into the framework of TPB, such that in the UK and Italy moral attitude rather than subjective norms had stronger explanatory power.
Abstract: This study examined the usefulness of integrating measures of affective and moral attitudes into the Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB)-model in predicting purchase intentions of organic foods. Moral attitude was operationalised as positive self-rewarding feelings of doing the right thing. Questionnaire data were gathered in three countries: Italy ( N =202), Finland ( N =270) and UK ( N =200) in March 2004. Questions focussed on intentions to purchase organic apples and organic ready-to-cook pizza instead of their conventional alternatives. Data were analysed using Structural Equation Modelling by simultaneous multi-group analysis of the three countries. Along with attitudes, moral attitude and subjective norms explained considerable shares of variances in intentions. The relative influences of these variables varied between the countries, such that in the UK and Italy moral attitude rather than subjective norms had stronger explanatory power. In Finland it was other way around. Inclusion of moral attitude improved the model fit and predictive ability of the model, although only marginally in Finland. Thus the results partially support the usefulness of incorporating moral measures as well as affective items for attitude into the framework of TPB.
TL;DR: The present work uses the four phases of the model to review the strategies in an agroecological context and provides a synthesis of the factors that influence the success of each phase.
Abstract: Burgeoning consumer interest in organically produced foods has made organic farming one of the fastest growing segments of agriculture. This growth has not been supported adequately by rigorous research to address challenges such as arthropod pest management. The research that has been conducted, however, is complemented by research in aspects of conventional agriculture that may have applicability in organic systems, as well as by research in underpinning fields such as applied ecology. This article synthesizes the available literature in relation to a conceptual model of arthropod pest management strategies suitable for organic systems. The present work uses the four phases of the model to review the strategies in an agroecological context and provides a synthesis of the factors that influence the success of each phase. Rather than constituting a fringe science, pest management research for organic systems draws on cutting edge science in fields such as landscape and chemical ecology and has a bright future.