The main objective for agriculture in the industrialised countries after World War II was to produce enough cheap food for an increasing urban population. During the 1970s and 1980s, this productivist agriculture came to a halt, because of overproduction, increasing subsidies and environmental degradation. A new post-productivist regime was partly developed, changing focus from production of food to production of collective goods. Mainly caused by increased food prices and global climate change, a neo-productivist regime now seems to emerge, that may endanger the gains from the post-productivist agricultural policy regime. This research project will address the new situation and the policy responses in relevant countries. It will develop knowledge and understanding of international strategies within selected modern countries with different policy regimes of high relevance for Norway. This competence base is needed to reform institutions and policy instruments related to Norwegian agricultural and rural policies. The project will address the task to develop new and sustainable agricultural policies which both are relevant to climate change and increasing food prices, as well as the defined objectives of maintaining viable rural communities, and to preserve cultural landscapes and biodiversity. The analytical and methodological starting point is the sustainability of current and changed policies in terms of economy, ecology/environment and agricultural/rural welfare. The primary objective of the proposed project is to develop knowledge on how agricultural and rural sustainability can be promoted in a “neo-productivist” agricultural regime responding to global agricultural change.

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