The MacSharry reforms of the Common Agricultural Policy: a challenge to public choice theory

Kay, Adrian (1997) The MacSharry reforms of the Common Agricultural Policy: a challenge to public choice theory. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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This thesis draws on the insights of economics, political economy and political science to study the MacSharry reforms of the CAP enacted in May 1992. It has two objectives. First, to understand the MacSharry reforms in terms of why they happened, when they did and in the form that they did. Second, to develop a more general framework for the interpretation of CAP reforms.

The thesis is in two parts. In the first, the public choice paradigm of decision-making systems is introduced as an alternative to neo-classical agricultural economics. It is employed to generate three frameworks of CAP reforms; the interest groups, the prominent players and the institutions. The evidence from the histories of previous reforms of the CAP provides the bias that the institutions framework is the most insightful for understanding the reform process.

The second part of the thesis is a case study of the MacSharry reforms. It is constructed from primary and secondary sources. Seventeen in-depth, individual interviews with key participants in, or observers of, the reform process were conducted. These are complimented by an extensive survey of the general news commentary on, the academic analysis of, and specialist agri-business views of the reforms. The institutions framework drawn from part one of the thesis is used to interpret this evidence to achieve objective one of the thesis. The central claim with regard to the second objective is that previous attempts at understanding the CAP reform process and its outcome have tended to underestimate the importance of the institutional structure of decision-making.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Hine, R.
Heywood, P.
Keywords: Agriculture and state, European Union countries, agricultural price supports
Subjects: H Social sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Social Sciences, Law and Education > School of Economics
Item ID: 11838
Depositing User: EP, Services
Date Deposited: 28 Feb 2011 09:59
Last Modified: 16 Dec 2017 17:31

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