Definitions of «Sustainability» and «Sustainable Technology». A Seemiotic and Narrative Approach on Agricultural Regulations

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In this paper, we focus on food production guidelines provided by two Europeansustainable regulations : the European Union (EU) Organic and the BiodiversityFriend certification. Drawing upon recent developments in the study of "technologiesof law", this chapter seeks to examine the role and the meaning of technology in theexpanding sector of sustainable standards in food production.Our claim is that agricultural regulations and certifications are semiotic devices whichperformatively define different technological systems which channel “human” and“non-human” forces in order to smooth out tensions between environmental andeconomic constraints.In the first paragraph, we show how crucial is the role of technology for theregulations ends. In the second, we will illustrate the general structure of europeanregulations and precise which actors they involve. In the third place, we show how –as metalanguage for specific technological arrangements – legal texts participate inbuilding narratives on sustainable production, and thus shape the world they are onlysupposed to regulate. In the fourth and the fifth paragraph, we submit the texts of theEuropean Union (EU) Organic and the Biodiversity Friend certification to semioticanalysis.Surprisingly, despite both regulations seek the value of sustainability, they build upvery different narratives to realize it. While the EU Organic technological networkaims at producing “sustainable food” by purifying nature from culture, BF producesfoods, landscapes and connections between the farm and the environment throughhybrid artifacts where nature and culture are indistinguishable.
Lingua originaleEnglish
Titolo della pubblicazione ospiteTools of Meaning: Representation, Objects, and Agency in the Technologies of Law and Religion
Numero di pagine26
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2018

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