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27-31 August 2019
Poznań, Poland
Europe/Warsaw timezone
programme last update: 23 August 2019
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Contribution Paper


  • Solfrid NORDRUM

Primary authors


While the public debate was increasingly juxtaposing agricultural enterprises to environmental considerations, the bureaucrats I followed strived to facilitate cooperation and mutual recognition through the production of policy documents. Finding the right scientific knowledge, intentionally choosing illustrative picture for a policy plan, and negotiating headlines and sentence structures were among the strategies they engaged in to visibilize the points of encounter between environmental and agricultural interests with hopes of enabling further solidarity. In contrast to common ideals -and critiques of bureaucratic practice for being emotionally detached, the bureaucrats manifested a productive use of their affects and emotions while conducting daily working tasks. They showed pride in being emotionally and bodily engaged in agriculture from having grown up on a farm, worked in the fields or by maintaining relations with farmers. Also cherishing nature and environment, the bureaucrats were saddened and angered when competing discourses on nature and environment created confusions and tensions between farmers and environmentalists. In Norway, agriculture is seldom denominated as an industry, but rather as a sector, and often as a green sector. When recent emphasis on greenhouse gas emissions from cattle presented agriculture as comparable to fossil fuels, tensions increased. The bureaucrats would use their role to underline the consequences of climate change upon agriculture in their documents and newsletters, and at the same time give farmers recognised and payed roles in environmental policies.