Ecological modernization and the US Farm Bill: The case of the Conservation Security Program

Martin H. Lenihan, Kathryn Jo Brasier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


This paper examines the debate surrounding the inception of the Conservation Security Program (CSP) under the 2002 US Farm Bill as a possible expression of ecological modernization by examining the discursive contributions made by official actors, social movement organizations, and producer organizations. Based on this analysis, the CSP embodies different expectations in terms of ecological modernization. Social movement actors view the program as a pragmatic solution to environmental problems created by productivist agriculture. Official actors and farm lobby representatives argue that the program should serve to create the pre-conditions for the eventual commodification of the natural resource benefits resulting from agricultural activity. These divergent discourses create multiple expectations of policies - reflecting both traditional productivist and post-productivist regimes. Using an ecological modernization framework allows us to see both the commonalities and differences in these approaches, and provides insight into the ways in which discourses surrounding global agri-environmental policies might play out in states' different political, social, economic, and ecological contexts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)219-227
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Rural Studies
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Development
  • Sociology and Political Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Ecological modernization and the US Farm Bill: The case of the Conservation Security Program'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this