Co-producing Environment and Agriculture in Greece 1945-2010

Experts and the Water-Toxicity Nexus
Monday, 27 May 2019 - 4:00 pm to 5:30 pm
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Contact person: 
Rafael Dezordi
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Cost to attend: 
Free of charge
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The ISSP is delighted to invite you to a luncheon talk by Professor Stathis Arapostathis from the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens.

The talk will focus on the politics of expertise and the co-production of sociotechnical imaginaries, expertise identities, and public policies in agriculture, as they relate to the use of fertilizers and water management in  Greece between 1945 - 2010. By applying the concept of the "co-productionist idiom," the talk will highlight the processes of appropriation of technoscientific knowledge and the dynamic processes of agricultural politics in postwar Greece. Experts functioned not only as mediators but as promoters and shapers of sociotechnical imaginaries in Greece, and  they directed specific policies to promote or control the use of fertilizers: particularly nitrogen (N) fertilizers.

Until 1990, experts had the power and the authority to politically and socially legitimize the use of intensive fertilization. During this period, engineering experts promoted visions for the intensive use of water resources through dam construction, that resonated well and supported the fertilization policies. In the years since 1990,  transnational political pressures from the European Union shaped the experts’ consensus on the harmful effects of agricultural malpractice and the overuse of nitrogen fertilizers. An environmentally friendly agriculture paradigm was sought in which the dominant public discourse developed by Greek experts prioritized the rational use of fertilizers. This approach was strengthened further by the material politics of water management that engineering experts had promoted since the 1990s.

Opening Remarks

Professor Monica Gattinger, Director, ISSP, University of Ottawa

Session Chair and Moderator

Professor Eda Kranakis, Full Professor, Faculty of Social Sciences (Faculty Affiliate, ISSP, University of Ottawa)

Keynote speaker

Professor Stathis Arapostathis, Assistant Professor, History of Science and Technology, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens