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The conservation of crop genetic diversity in Turkey: An analysis of the linkages between local, national and international levels

by Aksoy, Zuhre

Abstract (Summary)
The rapid loss of biological diversity is a major global environmental problem. This dissertation analyzes the conservation of crop genetic diversity, a particularly important component of global biodiversity, within a framework of multi-scale linkages. It examines the impact of international institutions and regimes on national and local-level practices, and the implications of local-level practices on higher levels of social organization. To illustrate these linkages, the dissertation examines the case Turkey, the historic center of origin and modern center of diversity of several key crops, including wheat and barley. The dissertation analyzes the interplay between two different international frameworks: the biodiversity institution/regime represented by the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), to which Turkey is a party, and the neoliberal economic institution/regime promoted by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank, whose prescriptions shape national agricultural policies through stabilization and structural adjustment programmes. In line with the constructivist approach in international relations theory, the dissertation argues that the CBD has played a crucial role in providing the space and institutionalized channels for scientific input to be incorporated into the domestic policy-making process for the conservation of biological diversity. The diffusion of the policy innovations at the local level has been circumscribed significantly, however, by the agricultural priorities of the government which in turn were influenced strongly by the agricultural liberalization process directed by the IMF and assisted by the World Bank. Field research in two wheat-growing regions of Turkey reveals that the cultivation of modern and traditional varieties can co-exist, suggesting that there is no inherent contradiction between the conservation of crop genetic resources and the promotion of agricultural growth and productivity. This research also reveals the importance of social capital in the conservation of crop genetic diversity. The dissertation concludes that public agencies can play a critical role in the provision of mechanisms to ensure that conservation of crop genetic diversity will meet the needs of rural communities.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:

School:University of Massachusetts Amherst

School Location:USA - Massachusetts

Source Type:Master's Thesis

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ISBN:

Date of Publication:01/01/2005

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