Australia is the world’s leading advocate for neoliberal agriculture. Dominant opinion in the Australian Government interprets the adoption of neoliberalism as a triumph of rational ‘national interest’ considerations in policy. Alternately however, the implementation and maintenance of this policy philosophy can be understood enacting a particular set of political-ideological visions, built upon a specific rendition of what is deemed to constitute the ‘national interest’.
In this, the first of two articles focusing on these issues, the implementation of neoliberal agriculture is explained through processes of ideological conversion in strategic sites of the Australian Government bureaucracy. With ‘the Australian model’ exacting influence internationally in institutions such as the World Trade Organisation, the implications arising from this article have pressing and timely relevance for wider debates on the role of neoliberal values in defining a specific political relationship between food, agriculture and society.
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