By Hannes R. Stephan;
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Extra info for Cultural Politics and the Transatlantic Divide over GMOs: Cultures of Nature
After a 38 Cultural Politics and the Transatlantic Divide over GMOs period of uncertainty, renewed interest was sparked by the ruling of the ECJ on Bt-1507 maize, forcing the Commission to table an authorisation for cultivation of a crop that had languished in the approval system since 2001. With Germany declaring its support for regulatory reform, the Greek Presidency published a new compromise paper in March 2014 which was agreed in June 2014. However, because the European Parliament will also be involved, it remains unclear at the time of writing when (and in what form) a partial renationalisation of GMO regulation will take shape.
The moments when these regulatory paths are set or shifted are called ‘critical junctures’. In the case of agbiotech, critical junctures can be located in the 1980s for the US and a few years later in the EU when the foundational regulatory frameworks were put in place. The second critical juncture for the EU came during the second half of the 1990s amid the ‘years of controversy’ when agbiotech supporters were rebuffed and the framework was made even more stringent (Pollack and Shaffer 2009: 12–13).
Institutionalist perspectives Rationalist institutionalism Beginning with the broad category of rational-choice institutionalism, the comparative analysis of political systems draws attention to the centrality of administrative and regulatory arrangements as well as the resultant political opportunity structures for actors. Federal systems are commonly portrayed as offering multiple venues for influence and opposition which might lead to policy deadlock in the short term and political compromises in the longer term – and thus to more stringent agbiotech regulations.