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The Regulation of Genetically Modified Organisms on a Local Level: Exploring the Determinants of Cultivation Bans

Author

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  • Ulrich Hartung

    () (Institute of Political Science, Heidelberg University, Bergheimer Straße 58, 69115 Heidelberg, Germany)

  • Simon Schaub

    () (Institute of Political Science, Heidelberg University, Bergheimer Straße 58, 69115 Heidelberg, Germany)

Abstract

This study investigates municipalities’ regulatory activities in the field of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) for agricultural use. To explore the determinants of these activities, the case of Germany was selected as in this country, municipalities have legal possibilities to impose local GMO cultivation bans. Using data from 131 local council resolutions, the combination of qualitative and quantitative content analysis shows that, in most cases, no single factors, but a variety of factors lead to regulatory activity. The study reveals that functional motivations to prevent negative socio-economic effects or impacts on the environment or human health are decisive for municipalities’ decisions to regulate. Furthermore, the results of the quantitative analysis unveil that municipalities often refer to both socio-economic reasons and risks for the environment and human health when justifying their decisions. Moreover, the results indicate that local policymakers impose popular cultivation bans to promote their own political success. Finally, the horizontal diffusion of regulations between municipalities, but also vertical diffusion from higher political levels can be observed. Overall, the results of this study on GMOs on a local level further emphasize the importance of analyzing the interdependencies between agroecosystems and socio-economic systems in their full complexity.

Suggested Citation

  • Ulrich Hartung & Simon Schaub, 2018. "The Regulation of Genetically Modified Organisms on a Local Level: Exploring the Determinants of Cultivation Bans," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 10(10), pages 1-23, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:10:y:2018:i:10:p:3392-:d:171627
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Jerome S. Legge Jr. & Robert F. Durant, 2010. "Public Opinion, Risk Assessment, and Biotechnology: Lessons from Attitudes toward Genetically Modified Foods in the European Union," Review of Policy Research, Policy Studies Organization, vol. 27(1), pages 59-76, January.
    2. repec:spr:agrhuv:v:35:y:2018:i:2:d:10.1007_s10460-017-9842-4 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. repec:wly:riskan:v:22:y:2002:i:4:p:701-711 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Robert F. Durant & Jerome S. Legge Jr, 2005. "Public Opinion, Risk Perceptions, and Genetically Modified Food Regulatory Policy," European Union Politics, , vol. 6(2), pages 181-200, June.
    5. Jonas Kathage & Manuel Gómez-Barbero & Emilio Rodríguez-Cerezo, 2016. "Framework for assessing the socio-economic impacts of Bt maize cultivation," JRC Working Papers JRC103197, Joint Research Centre (Seville site).
    6. Graham, Erin R. & Shipan, Charles R. & Volden, Craig, 2013. "The Diffusion of Policy Diffusion Research in Political Science," British Journal of Political Science, Cambridge University Press, vol. 43(03), pages 673-701, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:gam:jsusta:v:11:y:2019:i:2:p:440-:d:198049 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    genetically modified organisms; regulation; local level; agricultural practices; socio-economic issues; multi-level governance; Germany;

    JEL classification:

    • Q - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics
    • Q0 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General
    • Q2 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q3 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q5 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics
    • Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products

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