Food and Governmentality in the Green City: The Case of German Food Policy Councils

Open Access Journal | ISSN: 2183-7635

Article | Open Access | Ahead of Print | Last Modified: 9 January 2023

Food and Governmentality in the Green City: The Case of German Food Policy Councils


  • Alena Birnbaum Department of Landscape Planning and Communication, University of Kassel, Germany
  • Petra Lütke Department of Geography, University of Münster, Germany


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Abstract:  As an essential urban matter, food has always been highly relevant in issues of social and environmental justice. Current debates around food call for a better understanding of the relationship between global and local food production and social and environmental justice. Specifically, discussions on urban greening concepts are considering whether and how social justice and sustainability goals can be achieved. This has become a pressing issue due to a growing awareness of negative effects and social imbalances in the production, consumption, and disposal of food. The article explores the normative foundations and constructions of “good and just food” that are considered appropriate to a sustainable food system and the power techniques related to personal and environmental responsibility that feature in the work of the German food policy councils seeking to initiate a transformation process. Using a governmentality approach based on Foucault, this article seeks to fill gaps in the literature regarding food policy councils and, thereby, contribute to our understanding of the local manifestations of global policy projects that address environmental and social justice in green cities.

Keywords:  food; German Food Policy Councils; governmentality; green city; transformation

Published:   Ahead of Print

Issue:   Social Justice in the Green City (Forthcoming)

DOI: https://doi.org/10.17645/up.v8i1.6038


© Alena Birnbaum, Petra Lütke. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.