UK Policymaking Institutions and Their Implications for Integrated Food Policy

Kelly Parsons, David Barling

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Calls for better integrated food policy, which links multiple policy domains related to food, have been made for almost two decades, and remain frequent, though the nomenclature alters over time. While labels differ, the object they address remains broadly similar: that food is dealt with in a fragmented way in policy terms, which both undermines food's prioritization on the policy agenda, and creates a barrier to policy and system change, including to address food security and sustainability challenges. This chapter applies a novel framework, blending historical institutionalism theory with policy integration literature, to a case study of the UK, over the period 2002–2015. It traces how food has been addressed in a range of national policies related to food in the past 15 years, and maps a range of institutions in the UK food policy system. In doing so it explores how the potential for a more integrated national approach to food policy is constrained by the legacy of “old” policy frameworks, which are not aligned with modern conceptualizations of “food policy,” and highlights the impact of a lack of institutional capacity for taking a more joined-up approach. It uses the findings to present an emergent institutionalist theory of food policy integration.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdvances in Food Security and Sustainability
EditorsDavid Barling, Jessica Fanzo
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherAcademic Press
Number of pages41
ISBN (Electronic)978-0-12-815197-6
ISBN (Print)978-0-12-815197-6
Publication statusPublished - 16 Nov 2018


  • Food security
  • food, resilience, sustainability, urbanism


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