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Lookup NU author(s): Dr Andrew Donaldson,
Professor Philip Lowe,
Professor Neil Ward
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This paper adopts an actor-network theory approach in order to follow the associations of actors involved in the 2001 Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) epidemic in the UK. We follow the chains of translation through three key stages: from virus to disease; from disease to crises in agriculture, the rural economy and rural policy; and from those crises to the institutional change that occurred with the demise of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food and the arrival of the new Department of Environment Food and Rural Affairs. What emerges from this approach is that the UK Government's initial attempts to combat FMD caused a rural economy crisis not through mismanagement but through a more fundamental mis-problematization of the situation. By viewing rural areas through an agricultural lens, Government actors failed to appreciate the presence of other actors in the countryside, a failure that resulted in massive social and economic impacts outside of the agricultural sector.
Author(s): Donaldson A, Lowe P, Ward N
Publication type: Article
Publication status: Published
Journal: Sociologia Ruralis
Print publication date: 01/07/2002
ISSN (print): 0038-0199
ISSN (electronic): 1467-9523
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