Creating space for the successor: the discourse strategies of pro- and anti-GM factions regarding the future of agriculture in New Zealand
A struggle between different forms of food production for the future of agriculture space has been occurring in many regions of the world. Drawing on the literature of the geography of food and the theory of productive worlds, we propose that the discourse strategies deployed by competing actors should be considered part of the set of conventions that guide productive activities. Two examples of discourse strategies are outlined: the use of articulation to position a desired outcome within a historically resonant discourse in order to gain legitimacy; and the maintenance of a strategic tension between isomorphism and differentiation such that a stance is perceived as a credible choice. We describe and map the impacts of these discourse strategies as they were deployed by anti- and pro-genetic modification groups in the struggle to become the “natural” successor to New Zealand's conventional agricultural heritage. The shifts in discourse positions of the two protagonists highlight the increased hybridity and regional complexity of the worlds of food and the battle for agricultural space.