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Harmonising devolved responsibility for biosecurity governance: the challenge of competing institutional logics


Higgins, V and Bryant, M and Hernandez-Jover, M and McShane, C and Rast, L, Harmonising devolved responsibility for biosecurity governance: the challenge of competing institutional logics, Environment and Planning A, 48, (6) pp. 1133-1151. ISSN 0308-518X (2016) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2016 The Authors

DOI: doi:10.1177/0308518X16633471


Harmonisation of disease management practices across global space and the devolution of responsibility to a broader range of actors are two increasingly important approaches for ordering biosecurity governance. While these forms of ordering have been examined individually, the social science biosecurity literature provides limited insights into how they interact and interfere with one another, and the consequences for biosecurity implementation. This paper draws upon an institutional logics approach to examine the different and competing logics through which government agencies, industry bodies and farming enterprises engage in biosecurity. It focuses specifically on the ways in which these logics pose challenges for harmonisation of biosecurity as well as create alternative spaces of negotiation for making life safe. Through the analysis of policy documents and semi-structured interviews with government and industry stakeholders, as well as with beef producers, we identify three institutional logics being the neoliberal, productivist and agrarian logics. We argue that the existence of multiple logics poses significant challenges for efforts to achieve improved harmonisation of biosecurity in an environment of devolved responsibility to industry, farming bodies and producers. In this context, greater emphasis by stakeholders on the productivist logic holds the most potential for improving biosecurity implementation in that it works with existing agricultural circulations and flows, and with producersí herd health practices.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:biosecurity governance, harmonisation, institutional logics, Australia, devolution of responsibility
Research Division:Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services
Research Group:Strategy, management and organisational behaviour
Research Field:Organisational planning and management
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in commerce, management, tourism and services
UTAS Author:Higgins, V (Professor Vaughan Higgins)
UTAS Author:Bryant, M (Professor Melanie Bryant)
ID Code:113995
Year Published:2016
Web of Science® Times Cited:36
Deposited By:TSBE
Deposited On:2017-02-01
Last Modified:2018-03-20

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