Reinventing Transparency: Governance, Trust and Passion in Activism for Food Sovereignty in Italy

Alexander Koensler

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Abstract

In an increasing number of realms in everyday life, informal personal relations of trust are being replaced by a constraining formalization of standardization and certification implemented in the name of transparency. Examining the repercussions of this process for small-scale farmers in Italy, this article offers an understanding of ordinary experiences with transparency and explores at­tempts to resist it. Based on ethnographic research with a neorural activist network that opposes official food-certifications, the article describes ambiguities in ingenious attempts to reinvent pro­cedures to attest the quality and safety of "genuine" food products in more inclusive terms. Restor­ing the primacy of trust and solidarity, these cases illustrate how a different type of transparency can contribute to realizing a humanistic potential that is nevertheless not free of contradictions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)50-66
Number of pages16
JournalEthnologia Europaea. Journal of European Anthropology
Volume48
Issue number1
Publication statusEarly online date - 23 May 2018

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