Agricultural policy has long been regarded as a driving force for rural environmental change in industrial countries. While the causes of recent habitat loss, landscape degradation, soil erosion and water pollution in the EU and US are undoubtedly complex, the most convincing explanations are still ones that are strongly policy driven. By the mid-1980s, environmentalists had come to the conclusion that a major change to farm support in favour of the environment was required if the environmental problems of modern agriculture were to be tackled at source. Against the Grain tells the story of the long campaign for agri-environmental reform which followed. The central argument of this timely book is that in order to appreciate the significance of the reforms themselves, and to predict where they are going, it is necessary to understand why they occurred and how they were accomplished. The book offers a unique comparative analysis of the greening process in the US and EU, connecting policy outcomes to the political battles which produced them. It reflects on what has been achieved in each case and seeks to identify what countries can learn from each other. With its fresh analysis of what promises to be an increasingly central component of rural policy, this book is essential reading for analysts and policy-makers as well as an important text for senior undergraduates and postgraduates in rural geography, agricultural and environmental economics and environmental studies.
Section I: Foreword Section II: Introduction 1: Engines of Destruction? 2: The Pressures for Reform 3: The Conservation New Deal 4: Agricultural Stewardship in the UK 5: The Defence of Green Europe 6: Agricultural Liberalization and the Double Dividend 7: The Environmental Reform of Farm Policy? 8: References 9: Index