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date: 19 June 2021

Abstract and Keywords

In recent years, food activists have condemned industrialized agricultural systems for contributing to pollution, environmental degradation, biodiversity loss, economic insecurity, and political inequality. On the basis of such concerns, they have advocated abandoning these systems in favor of more agrarian alternatives. Meanwhile, however, defenders of industrialized agriculture have argued that their favored techniques are needed to address major challenges to global food security. In their eyes, abandoning industrialized food systems would be catastrophic. Given the depths of these disagreements, one might question how any agricultural policy regime could hope to achieve legitimacy in the eyes of all citizens. This chapter explores the theories of Thomas Hobbes, John Rawls, and Gerald Gaus in order to show how these controversial issues can be resolved without abandoning a commitment to public justification.

Keywords: disagreement, industrial agriculture, food security, legitimacy, public justification, food systems, agricultural policy, food production

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