“Challenges to Legitimacy in Food Safety Governance? The Case of the European Food Safety Authority”

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The ‘old’ forms of governance have been criticised for being neither sufficiently democratic nor effective. The popularity of ‘new’ modes of governance includes the embracing of values – integral to democratic processes – such as legitimacy, public accountability and trust. By relating parts of this ‘old-vs.-new’ distinction to March & Olsen’s dichotomy of aggregative vs.
integrative political processes, the aim of this paper is to find patterns for how such processes are combined in European food safety governance. The paper focuses on the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). What forms of participation can be found in ‘new’ food safety governance? How are these forms of participation related to the aims of increasing the legitimacy? The article discusses challenges involved in EFSA’s mixing of integrative goals and the organisation’s view of food safety politics, in which aggregative policy processes are conceived as a rough ‘natural state’ which should be tamed.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Political Science


  • food governance, deliberative democracy, food safety, European harmonisation
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)309-327
JournalJournal of European Integration
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Publication categoryResearch