[SEMINAR GENERAL] [CANCELLED] “The norm cluster of sustainability and the global regime complex for food: Norm interpretation and contestation among key international organizations” Sandra SCHWINDENHAMMER, Assistant Professor, University of Giessen, Germany, 12 March 2020

[This event has been cancelled.]

Sustainability represents a contested concept that is open to different and partly exclusive interpretations. It consists of a norm cluster that includes environmental, social and economic norms. The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the 2030 Agenda are determined by conflicting environmental, social and economic norms. Do policies of international organizations (IOs) for the implementation of the SDGs prefer specific components of (environmental, social and economic) sustainability? How far can IOs reach common understandings about conflicting goals that are included in single SDGs? These questions become especially relevant in the issue area of global food governance where contributions by different IOs are necessary to achieve SDG 2 that calls for the ending of hunger, to achieve food security, and to promote sustainable agriculture.

Building on findings from the research project TANNRE, funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (2017-2020), the talk explores how four key IOs of the global regime complex for food – FAO, UNEP, WHO and WTO – incorporate the different dimensions of sustainability and consider the different goals of SDG 2. It highlights IOs’ diverging and partly conflicting understandings of the sustainability norm cluster and discusses how these IOs can manage conflicting norm understandings.

Sandra Schwindenhammer is Assistant Professor at University of Giessen, Germany. In her research she focusses on global food- and sustainability issues, food and agricultural governance through standards, global norm contestation and the legitimacy and effectiveness of public and private organizations.