Ecological modernisation as bureaucracy: organic food and its certification in the UK and India

David Toke, Sukanya Raghavan

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3 Citations (Scopus)


This paper seeks to analyse ecological modernisation using a focus on how bureaucracy contributes to constituting ecological modernities in the case of organic food trade in the UK and India. Ecological modernisation is a way for business to apply ecological technologies to satisfy the demands of increasingly affluent publics for higher quality of life, including high environmental standards. However, a key part of the distinction between what can be called traditional agriculture and organic farming is in the certification system itself. This reflects Weber's assertion that modernity is associated with a rise of bureaucracy to regulate the expansion of the capitalist market. The organic food industry may be vulnerable to classic criticisms of ecological modernisation that it is merely ameliorating unsustainable growth, but it is also reducing the environmental impact of agriculture whilst improving the living standards of poor farmers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)313-326
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Green Economics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2010


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