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School of Environment and Natural Resources


Graduate Exit Seminar - Nikki Nadeau

Plan to join Nikki Nadeau's graduate exit seminar on May 29, 2024, at 3:00 pm in Kottman Hall 333 or via Zoom. Nikki will present, "Complex Governance and Coalitions in a Nascent Policy Subsystem."

Abstract: The global food system faces a daunting challenge to feed a growing human population while simultaneously minimizing the environmental impacts of food production. An emerging food production technique called cellular agriculture has gained attention as a promising alternative to animal-derived meat production that may require significantly fewer resources. While cellular agriculture holds great promise in reducing the environmental burdens involved in producing protein for human diets, it also adds a layer of complexity to food system governance. Additionally, there are several substantial challenges and controversies that must be overcome to realize the potential of cellular agriculture, and doing so will require designing policies that consider a wide range of diverse actors with varied, sometimes opposing, interests. The Advocacy Coalition Framework (ACF) provides a strong theoretical basis to understand the actors involved and how they self-organize into competing coalitions based on key policy beliefs. Yet, important gaps exist in ACF literature regarding how coalitions operate in nascent policy subsystems due to the difficulty in observing “nontrivial coordination” in these early stages. One valuable way to address this shortcoming is by employing the study of discourse coalitions, which are groups of actors in a subsystem who are linked through shared public positions on policy debates. In this paper, I aim to answer three research questions: 1) What discourse coalitions exist in the emerging cellular agriculture policy subsystem? 2) How much agreement on key concepts is present within the coalitions? 3) How much polarization is present between the coalitions? My findings reveal three key characteristics of the discourse coalitions in this subsystem, and of the subsystem itself, that may warrant further investigation in other nascent subsystems.

 Advisor: Dr. Ramiro Berardo