The purpose of this research group is to foster greater communication between the disciplines of Agricultural Economics and Political Science. It is apparent that such an exchange is necessary in order to improve scholarly research on agriculture policy and any subsequent policy recommendations. For two disciplines working on (ostensibly) the same issues, there is very little communication between and among scholars. Not surprisingly, US and international agriculture policies are both inefficient and notoriously difficult to alter. This interdisciplinary conference can help address these problems.
The long-term goals of this project:
1) To build the body of literature on the politics of agricultural policy formation by establishing and formalizing a working group of scholars dedicated to the interdisciplinary pursuit. With a “unified front” among otherwise unorganized political scientists, we will be better able to inform other disciplines of our key findings and coalesce around common recommendations for policymakers.
2) To increase the capacity of our two disciplines to offer more relevant policy recommendations for US legislators and stakeholders. These recommendations must be based in an understanding that politicians’ goals are to maximize both economic efficiency and political expediency. Thus, any recommendations we expect to be taken seriously must acknowledge the duality of these concerns. Likewise, negotiations with current and potential trading partners must be sensitive to their own political concerns—which often differ from our own. This project will shed light on the policy-making process under a multitude of political conditions and institutional arrangements. Insight into foreign political systems will assist US efforts to expand agricultural export opportunities.
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